Now, Team USA forward Kevin Durant is saying he probably won't even end up on the World Championship all-tournament team. Just to refresh, this is last season's NBA scoring leader who hasn't missed a beat while averaging 17.7 points in just 23.3 minutes for the undefeated Americans.
"I doubt it,'' said Durant about getting a spot on the team. "A lot of guys are doing better than I am. I'm just trying to go out there and win.''
Don't think for a minute Durant believes he has a chance to be the Most Valuable Player even if his Americans win gold Sunday.
"He's the best,'' Durant said of Argentina forward Luis Scola, averaging 30.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in the event. "He's had a hell of a tournament. MVP by far in this tournament. Win or lose, he has to be MVP because he's putting on a show. He carried (Argentina on Tuesday with) 37 points. He's tough to cover for anybody.''
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Scola has to be regarded as the leader so far for MVP honors. But, while Durant might not want to hear this, he could pass Scola if the Americans, who face Russia in a quarterfinal Thursday and could run into Argentina in a Saturday semifinal, win gold.
As for players Durant believes could unseat him for the all-tournament team, he mentioned New Zealand's Kirk Penney, averaging 24.7 points, China's Yi Jianlian, at 20.2, and Iran's Hamed Haddadi, at 20.0. Those three weren't even on teams that made the final eight.
But Durant eventually did concede that "you got to put somebody on that team from America'' if Team USA wins gold. But in typical Durant fashion he mentioned several Americans he believed would be just as worthy as him.
It's no surprise Durant is leading Team USA in scoring. The surprise is who's second.
Guard Eric Gordon, who had to battle just to make the final roster, is averaging 11.3 points. He's made a team-high 16 3-pointers (in 30 attempts), and coach Mike Krzyzewski has given him the green light to fire away.
"I think it's been pretty good so far,'' Gordon said of his tournament run. "I was trying to be consistent every day and try to play hard.''
Chauncey Billups said Gordon is not well known because he plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Team USA veteran guard always has liked his game.
"I kept a close eye on him ever since college,'' Billups said of Gordon, who left Indiana in 2008. "I knew the type of player and shooter that he was. He's turned a lot of heads because he didn't have that chance with the Clippers. They're not really playing on national TV. But I think he's the best shooter on our team.''
The stats do not suggest differently.
Team USA players have been cheered plenty during the tournament. Three did some cheering of their own earlier this week.
Forwards Kevin Love and Rudy Gay and guard Stephen Curry attended U2's first-ever concert in Turkey on Monday. Accompanying them were about two dozen members of the USA Basketball support staff, although the other nine players on the team elected not to go.
"It was a great atmosphere,'' said Love, whose Americans arrived only slightly late to the show after they finished off Angola 121-66 in a game played here early Monday evening. "It was unbelievable. ... We had great seats.'''
Gay didn't consider himself a U2 fan before the show. He is now.
"I've never been to anything like that,'' Gay said of the show at a giant soccer stadium. "You hear songs (before) and you don't think it's them. I noticed it (at the concert some of U2's songs). I guess I'm a fan after all.''
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson