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Blake Griffin withdraws from USA Basketball this summer

Jul 24, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT

Blake Griffin Getty Images

As some players are added to the group that will compete for a spot on the USA Basketball roster that will play in the FIBA World Cup this summer, others are content with bowing out.

There were 19 players initially tabbed to participate in the Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas next week, a pool from which the final roster for this summer’s team would be chosen. Blake Griffin was a part of that initial group, but after further consideration, he’s decided to forego the opportunity in order to prepare for the upcoming grind of the NBA season instead.

The official release:

Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin on Thursday announced that he will not participate on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team this summer. Griffin was one of 19 players selected to the USA roster from which the 2014 USA World Cup Team will be selected.

“I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer,” Griffin said. “It is a special opportunity anytime you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers.”

The people that are likely to care the most about this are Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski; most casual basketball fans know that the USA roster is star-studded and deep, so the impact of losing a player like Griffin — especially in a non-Olympic year — won’t ultimately mean that much.

Representing your country is certainly an honor, but given the rigors of the NBA season, it’s understandable that players would choose to pass. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t even get this far, remember, and while the wavering commitment will hurt the chances of these players participating in future Team USA activities in Colangelo’s eyes, the reality is that Griffin plays a very physical game that requires as much offseason rest as possible, and there is more than enough talent in place on Team USA without him to complete the task at hand.

  1. 2016olympics - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:44 PM


    • chicagosports2014 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      These games is what make good players, great. BLAKE got alot to learn, if he couldn’t jump probably wouldn’t even be any good.

  2. garlandchapko - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    What happened to the pride of playing for your country? unless you are injured I say no excuses. #1992dreamteam

    • apkyletexas - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Kawhi has missed 40 games the past two seasons due to injury, 24 and 16. He’s due for a rest.

    • paleihe - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:44 AM

      The Dream Team played in the Olympic, not the World Cup of basketball.

    • davidly - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      No excuses? Meaning what, exactly? That you have to play for your country or what? That kind of thinking is why “the pride of playing for your country” is bloviated bs.

  3. mackcarrington - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    “The Team USA schedule conflicted with my Kia commercial commitments”.

    • obijuan13 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      And Gamefly.

  4. rawgator06 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Playing for the Olympics killed LeBron the next season, right?

    • zoomy123 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      That’s not a fair comparison. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I heard Lebron was the inspiration for the new Robocop movie. He’s a cyborg.

  5. campcouch - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Not playing basketball for Team USA makes him no less of a patriot than the 99% who choose not to serve in the military. There’s no obligation. If he wants to do his own thing so be it, it’s called freedom of choice.

  6. undagroundnbablogspot - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    I think a lot of these guys just aren’t as ‘I love America’ as people like to think, and they’re just giving politically-correct excuses as to why they’re bowing out.

  7. upperdecker19 - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Sterling may sue him for this

  8. csbanter - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Why is Jerry Colangelo director of USA basketball ? What is his contribution to the game besides being a former NBA owner ?

  9. poundtherock - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    That locks DeMarcus Cousins on the team. Can’t wait to see him destroy all these euros.

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