Over the weekend, Team USA secured a 96-66 win against Serbia, which earned the squad a national medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. With this major win, the team's Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers was able to accomplish something that only an elite group composed of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and LeBron James have done in their NBA careers.
The win last Sunday secured Irving's spot to be among some of the most highly celebrated players in the NBA. Following in the footsteps of Jordan, Pippen and his Cavs teammate James, Irving has become the fourth player in the league to secure an Olympic gold medal and an NBA championship ring in the same year according to Sports Center.
But, despite his major achievement, the match against Serbia was not Irving's best game at the Olympics. As noted by Cleveland.com, the Cavs point guard struggled throughout the game.
Fortunately, even with poor offensive plays, Irving's teammates were there to secure a 30 point lead over Serbia. Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors was the team's lead scorer after he made 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson greatly contributed to the team's win with their respective 13 and 12 points.
Looking back, earning an Olympic gold medal this year almost didn't happen for Irving since he came really close to playing for his home country of Australia, where he was born in 1992. .
In 2012 during the London Olympics, he seriously considered playing for Australia, according to Fox Sports. Fortunately, coach Mike Krzyzewski was able to convince him to skip the 2012 Olympics and wait for 2016, where he will get the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the international sporting event.
"Coach Mike was a huge part of that decision," he said. "I mean, he's Coach K. As a young fella, he definitely did tell me I had a chance to be a part of something bigger than myself and ultimately being the starting point guard on the US Olympic team. I never thought it would happen as soon as it has."
"It's crazy to see how it has worked out," he added.