Players generally have to pay their dues when it comes to Team USA Basketball. A player usually can’t just get involved with the program when the Olympics roll around and expect to make the team.
This is why many wondered whether Kevin Love’s standing with Team USA was hurt by his decision to not participate in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
However, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo told USA Today’s Sam Amick that Love’s relationship with the program remains intact.
Colangelo said the Minnesota Timberwolves forward hasn’t lost any equity when it comes to his relationship with the program. And considering how emotional Love was when he broke the news to Colangelo last week, he certainly isn’t questioning how much he cares.
Love dropped out of the World Cup due to the uncertainty of his NBA future, as rumors swirl about him possibly being traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Team or teams, trade or no trade, he’s in a position where he had to say no and I respect that,” Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I mean the guy almost cried on the phone when he told me he couldn’t play. He was really down. So can I be upset with him? No, of course not.”
As Colangelo notes, it’s clear Loves deeply cares about Team USA, so it’s good news that his chances of making the 2016 Olympic team aren’t damaged by this decision.
Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds this past season with the Timberwolves.