Kevin Durant decided he wasn’t going to wait to declare himself as a willing participant for USA Basketball next summer. Ditto for Kevin Love.
The two NBA stars made it official Wednesday they will play for the USA squad which will compete at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain next August after both were members of the gold-medal winning team from last summer at the London Olympics.
“I didn’t want Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and Mr. Colangelo (USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo) waiting,” Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder star said after practice at the Mendenhall Center. “I owed them that. I knew I was going to play all along, so why not just get it out there officially and get it over with?”
Love, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ franchise player, hoped by announcing his commitment early, other players will follow suit.
“Hopefully it will create a ripple effect with the guys and get some commitments,” Love said. “We’re going to have a lot of guys who want to play on this team so I wanted to let it be known early on that I’m in.”
Krzyzewski said he wasn’t all that surprised to see the two NBA stars commit so early.
“I’m so happy that they’re so comfortable being part of the team, and for them to show up in person here (in Las Vegas) to do it, that’s incredible,” Krzyzewski said.
Colangelo said: “I had a feeling that of our Olympians, they were among the ones who were committed to (2014). I think it’s a statement to the other guys that when someone like Kevin Durant says, ‘I’m in,’ they’re going to take notice of that and it gives us some positive momentum moving forward toward next year.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.