Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant said Wednesday that Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are "forming somewhat of a dynasty" after winning the 2021 NBA championship Tuesday night.
Durant discussed the Bucks' title-clinching victory over the Phoenix Suns after a Team USA practice in Tokyo ahead of the Summer Olympics, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic:
"To see a couple of friends become champions today was cool. That experience doesn't happen for just anybody, so you respect that journey. And then you see a young team like Phoenix who everybody has been counting them out for the last five years, and now they make themselves into a contender, and I feel like will be a contender going forward in the West, that was good to see. And then Milwaukee forming somewhat of a dynasty with that team. I know it's the first chip and a lot of people call you a dynasty after a few, but the continuity of that team is something that's impressive and how they continue to build and add and now they're champions, and you can appreciate that."
Three players who just wrapped up playing on the NBA's biggest stage, the Bucks' Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton as well as the Suns' Devin Booker, won't have much time to rest as they'll hop on a plane bound for Japan to play for Team USA alongside Durant.
Vardon noted those three players won't arrive in Tokyo until Saturday, one day before the U.S. opens play against France, which makes their immediate level of participation unclear.
Durant explained the Americans will nevertheless benefit from an infusion of three battle-tested players to the roster after a mediocre run in their exhibition games, which included losses to Nigeria and Australia:
"It was good to get a punch in the mouth early on to remind us that it’s not going to be a cakewalk. So many people are used to Team USA coming in and blowing everybody out, so it was good for us to see that. Hopefully, those are the last losses. Adding three guys, two newly crowned champions and another guy who’s been on that stage and knows all about winning big games and playing in big games, add that IQ, three of those guys with high IQ to the team is gonna help."
The Nets forward added Team USA and the Bucks now have a lot in common as the teams being hunted by a group of hungry contenders, per Vardon.
"Every team wants to beat us, every team wants to see us lose," Durant said.
Greece failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games in men's basketball, so Antetokounmpo won't have an opportunity to go for the NBA championship-Olympic gold medal double this summer.
That's probably a blessing in disguise for the Bucks because if they're going to build the dynasty Durant was referring to, they'll need a healthy and rested Giannis for next season. The Los Angeles Lakers showed how quickly those dynastic plans can be derailed by injuries as LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missed significant portions of their title defense.
Meanwhile, Team USA will face France, Iran and the Czech Republic in the group stage next week. The knockout rounds get underway Aug. 3 with the gold medals being handled out Aug. 7.