Team USA was delivered yet another huge blow Thursday afternoon.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant announced that he would be withdrawing from the 2014 FIFA World Cup team, citing that he is “physically and mentally drained” from the NBA season.
“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.”
The reigning NBA MVP informed head coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo earlier this afternoon, telling them that he didn’t feel like he could make the commitment to the team following the first week of training camp in Las Vegas.
Durant was slated to start as the team’s primary power forward, but now the team will be without one of its core pieces.
This news comes less than a week after Paul George suffered a horrific injury, ending his time with Team USA. In addition, the squad is already without Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LeBron James and LaMarcus Aldridge for a variety of reasons.
Photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images
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