The power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin love, withdrew his name from the Team USA roster, according to his agent, with the Denver Nuggets center, JaVale McGee, and the forward of the San Antonio Spurs, Keldon Johnson, filling the vacant spots on the 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Love spent 10 days with Team USA in Las Vegas preparing for the Olympics, but is still returning to full form after a right calf injury that kept him out for a significant part of the NBA season. .
“I am incredibly disappointed not to go to Tokyo with the United States team,” Love said in a statement issued by Schwartz, “but you need to be at peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I have not reached that yet.”
Johnson has been playing for the Olympic team as a member of the USA Select team and became a favorite with decision makers and staff. McGee, who had been a finalist on the roster for Team USA, will report to the team in Las Vegas on Saturday, sources said. The three-time NBA champion has no Olympic experience.
Love’s retirement comes a day after the Americans announced that the escort Bradley Beal, of the Washington Wizards, will miss the Tokyo Games due to health and safety protocols in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. USA Basketball also announced Thursday night that the exhibition game against Australia scheduled for Friday night in Las Vegas had been canceled “as a precaution.” Team USA’s final exhibition game is scheduled for Sunday against Spain, with a charter flight to Japan scheduled for Monday.
Love was looking for a second Olympic gold medal; the first was obtained with the United States team at the London Games in 2012. He was also part of the team that won gold two years earlier in the world championship.
That experience with the basketball team helped him to be called up for this group despite having a difficult season in the NBA. Love missed 46 games through injury and averaged just 12.2 points in 25 games.
Love participated in two of the three American exhibition games in Las Vegas, scoring one point.
America was short-staffed beforehand before losing Beal and Love. Jrue Holiday Y Khris middleton, from Milwaukee, like Devin Booker, the Phoenix star, won’t be with the team until after the NBA Finals.
Associated Press contributed to this report.