The selection of Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love to the U.S. men’s basketball team undoubtedly raised some eyebrows.
Love, 32, is coming off a career-worst season and is generally unable to stay on the court. Durability has not been his strong suit.
But U.S. head of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo said there’s a reason Love was added to a sgtar-studded roster that also includes the likes of Nets forward Kevin Durant, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
“The best reason to say why Kevin Love as an extra big was because of his international experience,” Colangelo said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Yes it’s true he hasn’t played much of anything the last couple of years, but the skills he brings to the table and commitment he’s made to physical conditioning, he’s a versatile guy up front who can rebound and hit shots.”
Some wondered why Love made the team over Knicks forward Julius Randle and other Americans who had better seasons.
“Who’s to say how many minutes a guy will play? You’re not playing all 12 players,” Colangelo said. “It was a matter of filling out the roster with role players.”
The current roster is as follows: Love, Durant, Lillard, Beal, Bam Adebayo (Heat), Devin Booker (Suns), Jerami Grant (Pistons), Draymond Green (Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Bucks), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Khris Middleton (Bucks) and Jayson Tatum (Celtics). Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will again serve as head coach.
Training camp for the U.S. men’s basketball team is scheduled to begin the first week of July in Las Vegas. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23.