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Who Is Cliquing Up on Team USA’s Men’s Basketball Team?

Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan are becoming fast friends

Getty Images
Getty Images

When it comes down to it, Team USA isn’t much different from your old Little League squad. Despite the luxury liners, the salacious Snapchat controversies garnering national attention, and the quest for a gold medal, the overarching mission is more or less the same: cobbling together talent in pursuit of collective glory. And when this grand meeting of the minds happens, one activity will always reign supreme: cliquing up. But have any bromances blossomed on Team USA ahead of the Rio Games? Let’s investigate.

Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan

If you thought Durant would use the trip to Rio to bond with new Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, think again. Rather, KD has seemingly spent most of his free time with Jordan. The two have sat together on planes, publicly discussed Durant’s decision to spurn Jordan’s Clippers in free agency, and taken a page out of Kyle Lowry’s playbook by antagonizing DeMar DeRozan during interviews:

Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler

A four-day-old Instagram post is positively ancient in internet time, but I for one can’t get enough of Irving and Butler’s stirring rendition of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” Let’s watch it again:

We know Butler is Team USA’s official DJ, but it sure seems like Irving has some control over the playlist, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stay up extra late the night before flights, debating the relative merits of Taylor Swift and Chris Brown, and conceiving of new ways to annoy Carmelo Anthony.

DeMar DeRozan and Carmelo Anthony

Melo and DeRozan may be more than a half decade apart in age, but as Harrison Barnes’s team photo makes clear, they’ve clearly bonded over the fact that the Olympics offer both maligned stars a safe haven to finally escape the pressure and just be dope at what they do. Oh, and their shared love of bucket hats:

But Melo isn’t just a headwear aficionado — he’s also very invested in the luxury-watch scene. Per TMZ, “the guys at Haute Time” even threw an Olympics-send-off party for him, and it’s only a matter of time before he’ll have DeRozan rocking a $25,000 Hublot. This is sure to make DeRozan’s former BFF, Lowry, low-key jealous; for Team USA’s sake, here’s hoping the resulting animosity doesn’t carry over to the hardwood.

Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins

After Boogie gets done clowning Green’s dick pic, he’ll undoubtedly bond with him over their mutual hatred of the Clippers and appreciation of nut shots. These two are kindred spirits, and if Green manages to convince Cousins to sign with Golden State for below market value in 2018 (don’t laugh, anything is possible), I say we move the Warriors to North Korea. Team USA may have played an instrumental role in the superteam era, but putting Green and Cousins together for an 82-game season could easily become a disaster and effectively end the concept of team sports as we know it. This is a beautiful union.

Harrison Barnes and Coach K

Barnes’s role as team photographer was revealing: He might not have a single friend on Team USA. There’s gotta be some bad blood between him and his former Warriors teammates, Thompson and Green, considering they actively recruited Durant to replace him, and Mike Krzyzewski probably still has beef with him for picking North Carolina over Duke. As such, it seems likely that Coach K will make Barnes his personal gofer in Rio. This may hurt his all-important brand, but someone has to be the hall monitor enforcing Coach K’s strict rules in the locker room.