Early reports are pointing to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook once again representing the United States at the World Basketball Championships next summer.
Jerry Colangelo says he’s receiving positive indications that Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Love want to play for Team USA next summer.
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 22, 2013
Durant and Westbrook did the same three years ago and last summer, helped Team USA win the gold medal at the London Olympics.
NBA players often forego representing their country as a full summer of hoops in between seasons can be very stressful on one’s career.
This season alone, the number of players and All-Stars who were injured by the time the playoffs came around was incredible. Some would credit those injuries to too many games in the season, and the idea of any others during the summer would certainly add to that claim.
Up until these past playoffs, both Durant and Westbrook appeared invincible injury-wise. Westbrook had never missed a game in his life before tearing his meniscus in the Houston Rockets series, albeit on a freak-play as opposed to a natural basketball injury.
Durant got off to a very slow start to the season following the summer he last played for Team USA in the World Championships. But that wasn’t the case this season after competing in the Olympics as Durant had his best year ever, and one of the best in NBA history ever.
If Durant and Westbrook go through the 2013-14 campaign with no injuries, I’d be all for getting to see them play in the summer for Team USA as well. But if either is dealing with any type of injury, no matter how small, I’d rather see them sit it out and hold out for the Olympics. There should be enough talent out there via younger NBA players to ensure the U.S. still wins gold.
One of the coolest things about them playing for Team USA, is that they’d likely be reunited with James Harden as well. What Thunder fan doesn’t want to see that?