Durant insists that he is “drained” and needs to take a break this summer…
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has withdrawn from Team USA consideration for the FIBA World Cup, citing “physical and mental fatigue”.
According to ESPN, Durant reached out to Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski on Thursday to notify them of his desire to take a break from basketball activity this summer as he is “just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities.”
The 25-year-old had participated in training camp in Las Vegas last week and was expected to play a vital role in the team’s success in Spain this summer.
However, Durant has opted to rest this summer ahead of the new NBA season, revealing that it was “an extremely difficult decision” but ultimately it dawned on him during training camp that he was unable to invest wholly in the experience.
His withdrawal is another blow for Team USA after Paul George suffered a leg fracture during an exhibition game last week, while the likes of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard have all decided against making the trip.
Nevertheless, Coach K still has a strong 15-man roster at his disposal as training continues with preparations in Chicago on August 14 before he must make the decision over which three players will not make the final cut.
The FIBA World Cup will be held in Spain between August 30 and September 14, and with such a short turn-around period for the players before the new NBA season starts, their desire to take a break from basketball this summer is understandable to an extent, particularly those who were involved in the latter stages of the post-season last year.
Meanwhile, it is reported that USA’s odds were affected by Durant’s withdrawal, but with the likes of Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis and James Harden still available for selection, they will still possess a strong core of players for the tournament.