Team USA president Jerry Colangelo surprised some late last week when he told gathered media in Chicago that Kevin Durant left the national team because of a “contractual situation.”
It contradicted Durant’s original reason for departure, which cited mental and physical fatigue in a statement released days before Colangelo’s comments.
But Colangelo eventually cleared up the situation, telling CBSsports.com, through a spokesman, that he was referring to Kevin Love, not Durant.
And at a recent NBA 2K Uncensored event, in his first public comments since departing Team USA, Durant reiterated fatigue as the reason for his withdrawal.
“It was definitely tough,” Durant said at the 2K event. “I’ve (played) before and being with Steph (Curry), 2010, was one of the best experiences of my life. Being with James (Harden), (Anthony Davis) in 2012 was great as well. So it was tough. But I think for myself I just needed to take a step back and get ready for next season and rest up. Played a long, long 82-game season this past year. So I wanted to be smart with myself and realize that of course I love to play the game, I love USA Basketball, I love these guys, but I think it was best for me to take a step back, rest and get ready for the next season.”
Durant also fielded a few other questions at the event, talking about a variety of topics. Here are some quick highlights.
Durant on if he is the NBA’s best player…“I think I’m best at scoring. I feel like I’m an all-around player. I may not be the best rebounder or passer or defensive player, but I feel like I’m the best scorer.”
Durant on potential rule changes…“To be honest, I wouldn’t like to see anything changed. I like how the game’s played. There’s not too much control by the coaches or the refs or the players. It’s perfect how it is. How can you tell if a guy is flopping or not? Or if you give the coach the right to challenge any call, I’m sure they’ll limit the number, but it would still take some purity out of the game because we never did that before. I like how it is.”
Durant on his 2K gaming prowess…“For the summer, I’m about 100-4. That’s my record this summer. I feel real confident about my game. But the guy that would give me the most trouble would probably have to be James (Harden). James or Russell (Westbrook). Those are the only two guys I’ve played against who can play pretty well. But like I said, I’m very confident in my game right now.”
Durant on being the 2K cover boy…“It was exciting man, a dream come true. Been playing this game for 15 years. To be on the cover, among so many players that did it before me, it was a great honor.”