Kevin Love has had some terrific performances for Team USA at the highest level, and he’s got a gold medal from the 2012 Olympics for his trouble.
That might all be over now. With a number of high-profile players withdrawing from participation in the upcoming World Cup in China, Love was in position to be be a star on the world basketball stage once again. If he wanted it. According to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, he’ll join those skipping the games.
Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is expected to withdraw from Team USA's training camp for World Cup. Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry remains committed on USA roster and is expected to be recovered from thumb surgery and return midway through camp in L.A.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 24, 2019
Coming off a season where Love only played 22 games, this is understandable. Hopefully he’s taken the summer to get rested and fully ready to go for a long NBA season. The Cavs certainly wouldn’t have been a very good team if he was available last year, but it stands to reason the wheels wouldn’t have come off quite as badly had he been out there to help. Without real upgrades in the offseason outside of Darius Garland (and rookies rarely help you win), the Cavs are in a lot of trouble if something were to happen to him.
Hopefully Team USA will still be okay. It might take the team losing again to draw in the stars. Players that go through free agency rarely play in tournaments like this, and it felt like the whole league was up for it this summer. In the meantime, Cavs fans can feel a little better about their star forward coming to camp healthy.