"Be yourself," Lakers veteran Lamar Odom said of his advice for Durant. "He led the league in scoring. If he could lead this league in scoring, too, that would help."
But that's the prominent position Durant finds himself in even though this is his first stint on the national team. The U.S. heads into the world championships in Turkey later this month looking to win to clinch a berth at the 2012 Olympics.
"Everyone says Kevin Durant's the leader. He may be our best player; that doesn't mean you're the leader," Krzyzewski said. "Let him just be the best player. Let Chauncey and Lamar, those guys be the leaders."
The Americans play an exhibition Sunday against France at Madison Square Garden, the next chance for Durant to show he's not passing up on the shots a team's best player needs to take. His performances these coming weeks will determine not only whether the U.S. automatically qualifies for the Olympics, but perhaps how quickly he can carry his young Thunder team to even greater heights.
"Kevin wants to be an outstanding player," Krzyzewski said. "He wants to be the best. So being in this environment with this caliber of player, how he asserts himself here in a different environment will help him even more when he goes back to his current environment."