Kevin Love was initially slated to join Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games this past summer, until the “token white player” withdrew from the team in July. Love was reportedly brought on for his experience playing on the international stage; playing for the 2010 FIBA team and at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Four-time NBA Executive of the Year and Team USA Director Jerry Colangelo was apparently not as adamant to bring Love on the team. Colangelo gave his thoughts on Kevin Love during a podcast interview and gave his scathing thoughts on Love’s health, and the coaching staff’s “mistake” in bringing him onboard.
I didn’t think Kevin Love was gonna play. I wasn’t even sure he had much left to play. He reached out to us and said he was in shape and said he felt he owed us. And on the basis of that, we’re looking at someone with international experience who at one time was a heck of a rebounder and could still shoot the ball. You know, being like a 12th man on a roster. Well, it didn’t work out. He wasn’t in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out. So you move on. Call it a mistake. Call it giving someone an opportunity. Someone who had equity with us. Guys who play for us get a little plus.
On an episode of LeBron’s pro-player HBO program, The Shop: Uninterrupted, the floor was open for guest Kevin Love to unload on Colangelo. The Cleveland Cavs forward did not hold back.
“It was just wrong in so many ways. And for me, I’m sitting up here being the nice guy right now but honestly, f**k that. f**k him,” said Love, also giving credit to NBA veterans Carmelo Anthony and LeBron for reaching out to him after Colangelo’s critiques went public. Love felt that he was misjudged by Colangelo and that the pointed comments were entirely unwarranted.
Leading up to the Summer Games, Love’s 2020-2021 season was sporadic in appearances: Playing only 25 games due to a nagging right calf injury.
The 33-year-old veteran has missed 143 games in his past three season — giving a semblance of credibility to Colangelo’s trepidations with Love’s availability.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela