Durant withdraws from U.S. team
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward announced that he had withdrawn from the U.S. national team and will not participate in the FIBA World Cup later this month in Spain.
Durant informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo on Thursday of his decision, saying he was physically and mentally drained. The news comes less than a week after he completed a weeklong training camp with the U.S. team, which lost Paul George to a serious leg injury.
"This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country," Durant said in a statement. "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."
Durant was the MVP of the FIBA tournament in 2010 when he led the U.S. team to its first title in the event since 1994.
Durant said George's fractured leg had no bearing on his decision. The U.S. roster was already missing Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love from its frontcourt -- all of whom elected not to participate.
"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," Colangelo said in a statement. "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."
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