Kevin Durant withdraws from 2014 USA Basketball National Team

August 7, 2014

After Paul George suffered his horrific injury last week, it was inevitable that some NBA players were going to have second thoughts about playing for Team USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Today, the squad lost its most talented player, as USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced that reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) has informed USA Basketball that he was withdrawing from participating with the 2014 USA National Team.

The official reason behind the decision involved fatigue, although it would not be unreasonable to assume that George's injury also played a factor as well.

"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."

USA Basketball recently trimmed its roster to 16 players prior to Durant's withdrawal, and will eventually have to further reduce it down to 12 players.  Judging by Colangelo's statement below, it does not appear that another player will be added to replace Durant.

"We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us and to getting back to work in Chicago on August 14," said Colangelo.  "All 15 players are committed to the USA Basketball standard, which is to come together to win gold medals."

The 15 USA finalists will resume training in Chicago with practices Aug. 14-15 at the Quest Multisport Complex, and will play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the United Center on Aug. 16 (8 p.m. CDT).

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."

By Staff of and news services

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