The 2021 Tokyo Olympics have not been kind to Team USA.
Despite this, for the first time possibly ever, the best player in the event may not be playing for America.
There is a case to be made that Luka Doncic is the best player in the Olympics this year.
Doncic will singlehandedly have to carry Slovenia if he wants to bring a medal back to his home country.
Despite this, it is looking like he may be capable of pulling off this incredible accomplishment.
Doncic recently made his Olympics debut against Argentina.
In only his first game, Doncic almost set the single-game scoring record for the Olympics.
This is truly incredible when taking into account the greats that have taken part in Olympic play.
Doncic finished the game with 48 points, 31 of which came in the first half.
While you were sleeping, Luka Doncic just did this in his Olympics debut:
in a 40-minute game. pic.twitter.com/q3AhHcU40f
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 26, 2021
Despite putting on a show for his team, Slovenia only won the game by a final score of 118-100.
After the game, Argentina’s head coach Sergio Hernandez was quoted as saying, ““For me, I said this two years ago: He is the best player in the world, including the NBA, And if there was any doubt in my mind, there is no doubt anymore. He is the best player in the world”.
This raises the question on if Doncic is truly the best player in the Olympics.
There are multiple factors to take into account when trying to tackle a topic like this.
The first being this is only talking about Olympic play.
As we have seen, Olympic play is very different from NBA play.
As a result of this, saying that Doncic is the best player in the Olympics does not mean that he is a top-three player in the NBA.
There are two other players in contention for best player in the Olympics.
Also, when taking into account the stats from Team USA, they have not been updated since their match against France.
Kevin Durant is arguably the best player on Team USA.
He ranks second on the team in points with 16.3 per game and tied for second on the team in rebounds with 4.3 per game.
These fall very short of is NBA averages, however, with all of the star power on Team USA, he does not take nearly as many shots.
As a result of Durant being able to take a backseat and play very passive, Doncic goes in front of him.
Kevin Durant on Team USA pic.twitter.com/BIEHblJKCV
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) July 25, 2021
Doncic not only has better stats than Durant in the Olympics, but also has led his team to a better record.
Unless Durant begins playing to a more elite level, he will be the second or third-best player in the Olympics.
Damian Lillard has led America in points per game up to this point.
He averages 17 points per contest.
Lillard is also doing this on a very efficient 44 percent from three.
However, he falls into a lot of the same shortcomings Durant does.
He is on a much more talented team yet which is leading him to putting up worse stats than Doncic.
Despite this, Doncic has still led his team to a better record.
It will be interesting to see if it will be Dame Time in Tokyo, however, for the time being, Team USA is still struggling to even keep up with other national teams.
Meanwhile Doncic is setting records for Slovenia.