Durant withdraws from 2014 USA Men's team
POSTED: Aug 7, 2014 6:34 PM ET
COLORADO SPRINGS — USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo today announced that Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) has informed USA Basketball that he was withdrawing from participating with the 2014 USA National Team and from consideration for the 2014 USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team roster. The USA National Team is scheduled to resume its 2014 preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
"Kevin reached out to Coach K and myself this afternoon and expressed that he is just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities. 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," said Colangelo. "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."
"We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us and to getting back to work in Chicago on Aug. 14. All 15 players are committed to the USA Basketball standard, which is to come together to win gold medals."
Durant explained his decision saying, "This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country. 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 15 USA finalists will resume training in Chicago with practices Aug. 14-15 at the Quest Multisport Complex, and will play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the United Center on Aug. 16 (8 p.m. CDT).
The American squad will continue its World Cup preparations Aug. 18-22 in New York, and play a pair of exhibition games at Madison Square Garden, Aug. 20 against Dominican Republic, and Aug. 22 versus Puerto Rico. The USA will complete its pre-World Cup exhibition tour on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. Training Aug. 24-25, the U.S. will close out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 facing Slovenia at Gran Canaria Arena. Conducting a basketball clinic for youth on Aug. 27 in Dakar, Senegal, the USA team will complete its training for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup Aug. 28-29 in Bilbao, Spain, the site of its World Cup preliminary round games,
The 2014 World Cup, featuring a total of 24 national teams, is scheduled to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The USA will play its preliminary round games in Bilbao, after being drawn into Group C along with teams from the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.
The USA opens the 2014 World Cup on Aug. 30 against Finland, and then faces Turkey on Aug. 31 in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game, a contest in which the USA claimed an 81-64 victory. Following a day off on Sept. 1, the USA resumes play Sept. 2 facing New Zealand. The U.S. will go against the Dominican Republic on Sept. 3, and will conclude its preliminary play on Sept. 4 facing Ukraine.
Each team at the 2014 World Cup will play the other teams in its preliminary group, and the top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round groups will then qualify for the round of 16. Winners of the round of 16 games will advance to the quarterfinals, while losers are eliminated. Winners of the quarterfinals games will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the quarterfinals losers are eliminated from the competition. Winners of the semifinals will advance to the Sept. 14 gold medal game, while semifinals losers will meet in the bronze medal game on Sept. 13. The games from the round of 16 to the semifinals will be played in Barcelona and Madrid, and the bronze and gold medal games will be held in Madrid.