NBA MVP and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has withdrawn from Team USA basketball and will not compete in Spain for the FIBA World Cup.
Durant reached out to management and coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday and said he is just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities.
KD said the decision was extremely difficult and that he takes great pride representing the country. But after going through training camp, he said he realized he couldn’t fulfill all of his responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint.
His withdrawal came less than a week after Indiana’s Paul George was lost to an open tibia-fibula fracture and follows previous withdrawals from Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, plus NA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
Durant was the MVP of the world championship in 2010, bringing the Americans to that title for the first time since 1994, and the five-time NBA All-Star was a starter on the gold medal-winning team in the 2012 Olympics.
His departure now leaves 15 finalists for Team USA, which will resume preparations for the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
Love, Cavs make tentative deal; Wiggins, Bennett will be T-Wolves
Three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Love will soon be trading in his Minnesota blue and Green for Cleveland’s wine and gold after it was announced yesterday that a deal was tentatively put in place.
The trade would involve Kevin Love coming to Cleveland with the last two first-overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett headed to Minnesota along with a protected 2015 first-round draft pick.
The trade, however, cannot be finalized until Aug. 23 due to the Cavs signing Wiggins for his rookie contract.
The agreement has reportedly been in place for some time, and some speculate even as far back as early July when Lebron James wrote his letter of intent to Sports Illustrated to return to Cleveland. About the same time, the Timberwolves organization began removing any and all Kevin Love-related merchandise and promotional material from their facilities.
Cleveland has reportedly commited to make the trade with a firm agreement that Love will re-sign with the Cavs next summer for five years and $120 million-plus after opting out of his contract, but this could be a violation of NBA rules, as players and teams are not allowed to discuss future arrangements, even verbally, without violating salary cap circumvention rules in the league’s collective bargaining agreement.