Kevin Durant, Draymond Green Address Team USA Doubters After Gold Medal Win

Two stars of the U.S. men's basketball team took pleasure in answering their critics after their team triumphed in the Olympic final in Tokyo.

Team USA's 87-82 victory over France followed weeks of scrutiny amid media concern at the prospect that American dominance in Olympic basketball was waning.

This came after Team USA lost exhibition matches against Nigeria and Australia, as well as their opener against the French team on July 25, their first Olympic defeat since 2004.

But after avenging France on Saturday in the rematch at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Kevin Durant took to Instagram Live to vent at the doubters.

"They had some power rankings out. They had us fourth behind Slovenia. Come on, man," he said, in a clip that was shared by Complex Sports.

"Talking about they're catching up to us, like, are you serious? This skill is unmatched, you dig?"

The Brooklyn Nets forward who spearheaded the U.S. victory continued: "Shoutout to everybody that won this gold, everybody that chipped in and helped out. We're going to the press conference, but I had to talk my s*** real quick."

Walking next to Durant during the Instagram Live was Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green who singled out ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins who had said before the games that he was not confident in Team USA's prospects.

"Kendrick Perkins, you talk a lot of s***. A lot of s***," Green said. "Act like you're American."

During the after match press conference, Green referred to Perkins again when he was asked about whether this year's gold medal was more satisfying than winning in 2016.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Green said: "Somebody needs to teach these people some loyalty," adding, "how about you cheer for your country."

Perkins for his part did give props to Green and his teammates, tweeting: "Hell Yeah!!! Shoutout to Team USA Men's Basketball team for bringing home that Gold Medal!

"In Kevin Durant we TRUST. Jrue Holiday with an impressive run over the last 4 months winning a NBA Championship and a Gold Medal!!!"

Newsweek has reached out for comment from Perkins through ESPN.

At the press conference, Durant reflected on Team USA's fourth successive gold, and his third in a row.

"This one feels good because we went through a lot. We had a lot of first-time guys on the team, new experience for everyone on the team, COVID, the kind of bubble we were in, no fans, no one expecting us to lose," Durant told reporters.

Newsweek has sought further comment from USA basketball.

Kevin Durant (left) and Draymond Green
Kevin Durant (left) and Draymond Green of Team United States after their victory over France in the Men's Basketball Olympic final. They took aim at their critics who doubted Team USA could retain their title. Ezra Shaw/Getty