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Kevin Love reveals the real reason why he quit Team USA

Kevin Love wanted to play for Team USA but an injury and loaded Jerry Colangelo comments on him changed his mind.
Kevin Love on why he left Team USA: They threw me under the bus and I didn’t like that

Now, speaking about the matter after almost a year, Love claimed he felt the people he trusted betrayed him.

Kevin Love was among those initially on the Team USA roster for the last year's Tokyo Olympics. But he withdrew and left the team, much to the surprise of many basketball fans. Love finally revealed what happened and what compelled him to walk away.

They threw me under the bus, and I didn't like that

Kevin Love was included in the Team USA with Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker. If this lineup had been created ten years ago, no one would have criticized Love's inclusion, but there were doubts about why he was named part of the team because he was coming back from an injury. Jalen Rose even labeled his inclusion as "tokenism," which meant he was only selected so that it wouldn't be an all-Black team.

Yes, Kevin was still not 100 percent, but he felt he owed it to Team USA. After playing just one scrimmage, the Cleveland Cavalier forward decided to leave the team. Jerry Colangelo defended Kevin's inclusion, citing his rebounding skills and experience, but after Team USA lost to Nigeria in the tuneups, GM Colangelo blamed Love for showing up out of shape and unprepared, which the forward didn't take lightly. People see this as an attempt of Colangelo to pin the blame on the former Minnesota Timberwolves player.

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Now, speaking about the matter after almost a year, Love claimed he felt the people he trusted betrayed him.

"People that I've had relationships with throughout USA basketball for that long, threw me under the bus. And I didn't like that. I felt that I did the right thing by coming to the landing spot and landing point that I eventually got to. I just thought it was very unfair and coming from this elite fraternity that we have in our 450 players. You would think, like, you take care of each other."

How this could have been avoided

Every year, Team USA creates a pool of players that they want to invite to the camp. The list will be trimmed down eventually until the final 12 are decided. However, due to personal injuries or contract situations, invited players turn down the invites, making the selection thinner than expected. As a result, veterans such as Love are compelled to come and make themselves available for various reasons. It could be because they want to win Olympic gold before retiring or show they still have something left in the tank.

There should be a limit on how many times a player skips the invite even though he is injury-free. Additionally, if he skips joining the pool for other reasons, he may have to be banned from being invited to the next cycle. Any reason, aside from being a medical one, should be scrutinized. Being fully fit and focused when joining Team USA is a huge responsibility and an honor.

Love's intention to join Team USA was pure, but it could have been a bad fit and wrong timing, considering he was coming off an injury. He represented the country and heeded the call even though he's not 100 percent healthy, and that's all you could ask from anyone. 

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