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Some Team USA Weirdness

It’s nothing huge but things like this help set the mood

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 4: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors on April 4, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

We all know that Team USA has gotten off to a rocky start with exhibition losses to Nigeria and Australia, but there has been some other oddness too.

Take Kevin Durant’s birthday.

Someone thought that it was this week and got the entire US delegation together to sing Happy Birthday to him.

But his birthday is September 29th. That’s a pretty big miss. He was pretty clearly not amused by the screw up as you see in this video, courtesy of JaVale McGee.

Speaking of McGee, he got a weird question in a presser. We didn’t realize that his mother was USC great Pamela McGee. She was at Southern Cal with Cheryl McGee and later was one of the first big names in the WNBA.

Anyway, some yahoo asked him “Hey JaVale, welcome aboard, I’m not sure … is your mom still with us.”

McGee, understandably flustered and visibly offended, said “Is my mom alive? Yeah, she’s alive. That’s a weird question to ask somebody, but keep going.”

Also, the odds of the US winning gold have gone down from a ludicrous -1000 to -350. The US is still favored but the psychological armor of inevitability has been stripped away.

In a minor break, we thought that the US started against France on Saturday at 8:00 AM EST, but fortunately it’s Sunday. That gives one more day for the three latecomers to reset their bodies, and probably to rest as much as possible after the Finals and a very long flight to Tokyo. And after what we saw from Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker last week, they should be a huge help, assuming they’re fully incorporated.

Update: apparently Durant’s early birthday was a prank organized by former teammate Draymond Green.