Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love said he would go back to represent the United States on the national team. Love is now one step closer to making that happen.
The Timberwolves power forward is among 28 NBA players named to the 2014-16 USA national teams’ roster pool, from this pool the athletes will be drawn for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain and, assuming the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Along with friend and training partner Kevin Durant, Love announced in July his commitment to play in the world championships.
“It is an honor to once again have the opportunity to represent my country as part of Team USA,” Love said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to beginning our journey towards defending our gold medal.”
Love helped Team USA win gold at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championship — now called the World Cup. He joins a star-studded lineup that includes fellow London gold medal winners Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin.
“The very first thing I love . . . is the continuity, that so many of our veterans are coming back,” U.S. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said on a conference call. “I’m excited about the post, because we have more guys there than we’ve had before.”
Expecting to hear his name announced Thursday night as an All-Star, Love ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring (25 points per game), second in rebounding (13 per game) and averages 4.1 assists per game. He leads the league in double-doubles with 35 and has compiled more games with 25-plus points, 15 or more boards and five or more assists (eight) this season than any NBA player since his 2008-09 debut.
The team will open training camp in July, when Krzyzewski, national team managing director Jerry Colangelo and assistant coaches Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams will pare down the roster ahead of the World Cup.