Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant informed USA Basketball on Thursday that he is withdrawing from the team ahead of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Durant told Coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo that he was “mentally drained from the NBA season.”
“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,” Durant said in a statement.
“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.”
Oklahoma City was eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Durant was also named the NBA’s most valuable player for the 2013-14 season.
Durant won a gold medal with Team USA in London at the 2012 Olympics and was the MVP of the 2010 world championship team.
Durant is the latest NBA superstar to drop from Team USA, though the first to go voluntarily, following Paul George’s gruesome leg injury during a scrimmage last week.
Earlier this week, Wizards guards John Wall, Bradley Beal and Hawks forward Paul Millsap were cut from the team. Blake Griffin and Kevin Love had previously announced their withdrawals from the team.
The roster will eventually be whittled to 12 from the remaining 15 players.
USA Basketball plays its first of several exhibition games on Aug. 16 against Brazil before its opening game of the World Cup against Finland on Aug. 30.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times