Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant issued a statement Thursday afternoon withdrawing from Team USA consideration.
According to national NBA writer Marc Spears, Durant said: "I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally & physically in order to prepare for the upcoming season."
He is citing the physical and emotional tolls that the NBA season and now offseason have had on him.
Team USA director Jerry Colangelo issued a statement regarding Durant's withdrawal. He said: "Kevin reached out to Coach K and myself this afternoon and expressed that he is just physically and mentally drained from the NBA season and his attention to his many responsibilities.
"He tried to give it a go at our recent Las Vegas training camp but felt coming out of camp that he was not prepared to fulfill the commitment he made to the team.
"Coach K and I fully support Kevin. His well being is the most important thing to us and we support him taking the time to get ready for next season. He's been part of the National Team program for eight years and a big part of the success we have achieved, and we look forward to him being part of our success in the future as well."
Power forward vacancy
It appeared that Durant was supposed to start at power forward, and now the question becomes who will fill that role. This even worsens the blow to Team USA, especially after losing fellow all-stars Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Paul George.
There is plenty of talent on the roster, but no one will be able to replicate the kind of performances we've come to expect from Durant.