Not to be outdone, American supporters went all in on "U-S-A" chants to offset their Argentinian counterparts during Team USA's 105-78 quarterfinal victory over the South American nation Wednesday. It gave Kevin Durant chills, but he couldn't help but think about the social unrest back home.
"To see that, and to feel that unity (at the game) with all that's going on in our country right now, it was amazing," he told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports after Thursday's practice.
The cheering left him with a feeling of unadulterated pride and in an almost catatonic state.
"Just to hear 'USA,' it just shows that we're the most powerful and greatest country there is, and to see everyone come together no matter (the) race, no matter the background, anything, just to hear that, that's what I thought about. It was amazing, man," he raved. "I wish I could've taped that moment, but I didn't have my phone on me."
Durant wishes that unity, positively channeled passion, and unconditional love can transcend Olympic celebrations, someday carrying over to the U.S., which has been marred by racial tensions and violence that's prompted other NBA players to speak up.
"The fans just have so much pride, man, and I feel like we can do that (in America). But we're just so separated, man. It's sad to see. I just hope at some point, as a nation, that we just start to find it," said Durant, who finished with a game-high 27 points to go along with seven boards and six dimes.
USA's quest for a third straight gold continues against Spain on Friday, and the Golden State Warriors forward is hoping for a repeat of Wednesday's reception.
"You can't really put into words (what it feels like when) you're so united like that," he said.
"You look in the stands, and you see everybody that has an American flag on, or red, white, and blue. And it's not about the Warriors or the Raptors or the Clippers or the Knicks, it's all about Team USA."