Kevin Durant chides Zach LaVine’s defense on Instagram live originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is in the books, and hijinks from the U.S. Men’s Basketball National Team are underway — specifically, between Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
Durant took to Instagram live during the ceremony Friday morning (U.S. time) to offer viewers a peek behind the curtain of the Olympians’ obligation. At one point, he and LaVine sat next to each other, leading to some comical commentary:
Durant started complimentary, saying: “You’re gonna see a lot of athleticism from this man…”
But things turned sardonic from there.
“… a lot of de— you gonna finally play some defense!” Durant exclaimed directly to LaVine.
“I been playing defense like never before! Show the world that,” LaVine clapped back.
Then, a pause, before Durant cracked: “Billy Donovan, he gonna play some defense out here for us,” to which LaVine responded, “Don’t tell him (Donovan) that,” with a laugh.
This is, of course, all in good fun. Durant has shared praise for LaVine and the Bulls in the past, and previously played for Donovan in 2016 when the current Bulls head coach coached the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And the Americans’ first few days in Tokyo have featured other light-hearted moments, including the entire cast of American Olympians singing happy birthday to Durant, whose birthday isn’t until late September, during the opening ceremony.
LaVine has taken improving on the defensive end seriously, though, with both the Bulls and Olympic team. He’s said multiple times since joining the national team that bringing energy and activity on that end will be integral to his role.
So give Durant credit: He knows how to push buttons. LaVine will get a chance to showcase his improvements Sunday in Team USA’s Olympic opener against France.
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