Kevin Durant Withdraws From Team USA
The best player on the USA Basketball roster is stepping away from the team weeks before the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. Kevin Durant has withdrawn from Team USA, citing mental and physical fatigue. From USA Basketball:
USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo today announced that Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) has informed USA Basketball that he was withdrawing from participating with the 2014 USA National Team and from consideration for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Team roster. The USA National Team is scheduled to resume its 2014 preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
“Kevin reached out to Coach K and myself this afternoon and expressed that he is just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities. He tried to give it a go at our recent Las Vegas training camp but felt coming out of camp that he was not prepared to fulfill the commitment he made to the team,” said Colangelo. “Coach K and I fully support Kevin. His well being is the most important thing to us and we support him taking the time to get ready for next season. He’s been part of the National Team program for eight years and a big part of the success we have achieved, and we look forward to him being part of our success in the future as well.”
“We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us and to getting back to work in Chicago on Aug. 14. All 15 players are committed to the USA Basketball standard, which is to come together to win gold medals.”
Durant explained his decision saying, “This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country. I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint. I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. I will be rooting for USAB and look forward to future opportunities with them.”
Add Durant to the list of NBA superstars in their prime not on this year's Team USA squad, along with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love. And, of course, no Paul George either. Where does USAB go from here? We'll see starting next week, when Team USA travels to Chicago to continue training camp, including an exhibition game against Brazil on August 16.