Kevin Durant is the Latest to Withdraw from USA National Team
By Brian Mahoney
Kevin Durant withdrew from the U.S. national team, the biggest loss yet for a weakening American squad that will go to Spain without the leading scorer on its last two gold medal winners.
The NBA’s MVP took part in the Americans’ training camp in Las Vegas, but then informed team officials that he wasn’t going to continue.
“Kevin reached out to Coach K and myself and expressed that he is just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities,’ USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. “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.”
Durant was the MVP of the world championship in 2010, leading the Americans to that title for the first time since 1994. The Oklahoma City star also started on their gold medal-winning team in the 2012 Olympics and led the Americans with 19.5 points per game.
His withdrawal comes less than a week after Indiana’s Paul George was lost to a broken right leg and follows previous withdrawals by All-Stars Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
“This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country,” Durant said. “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.”
The U.S. roster is down to 15 players. The Americans resume practicing in Chicago and have to finalize a 12-man roster before the World Cup of Basketball begins in Spain on Aug. 30.