US basketball

Kevin Love withdraws from US Olympic team

Reuters
Kevin Love withdraws from US Olympic team

PULLING OUT. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love withdraws from the Olympics due to a calf injury.

Kevin Love's Instagram

San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee make the US Olympic team

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is leaving Team USA and will not compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Agent Jeff Schwartz confirmed Love’s withdrawal to ESPN and provided a statement from Love.

“I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet,” said Love, who is still returning to form from a right-calf injury that limited him to 25 games in 2020-21.

Love, 32, spent 10 days in Las Vegas preparing to compete in his second Summer Games. He played 12 minutes in a 108-80 exhibition victory against Argentina on Tuesday, finishing with one point, four rebounds and three assists.

The five-time All-Star averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Cavaliers in 2020-21. Through 13 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2008-14) and Cleveland, he has averaged 18.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 738 games (655 starts).

Love was a member of the US squad that won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

The US roster lost Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal on Thursday, July 15, due to health and safety protocols. Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant is also under protocols.

With Suns guard Devin Booker and Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of the Bucks still in the NBA Finals, only six Team USA players are currently available.

ESPN reported Friday, July 16 that San Antonio Spurs small forward Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee will replace Beal and Love.

Johnson, 21, averaged 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 69 games (67 starts) for Team USA coach Gregg Popovich’s Spurs this season.

McGee, 33, split the 2020-21 season with the Nuggets and Cavaliers and averaged 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 46 games (two starts). – Rappler.com

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