Team USA's Colangelo: Love's addition was a 'mistake'
Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo regrets naming Kevin Love to the initial 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Cleveland Cavaliers forward scored just one point across two exhibition games in Las Vegas before withdrawing with a right calf injury, and that confirmed Colangelo's doubts about Love's ability to perform.
"I didn't think Kevin Love was going to play. I wasn't even sure he had much left to play," Colangelo told ESPN's Brian Windhorst. "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."
Love's withdrawal left Colangelo and Co. in a bind a day after Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was forced to pull out due to COVID-19. Veteran center JaVale McGee and San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson were added to the roster as replacements.
Love, who was on the gold-medal-winning squad during the 2012 Olympics, was added to Gregg Popovich's team despite missing 46 games this past season due to injury. The 32-year-old averaged 12.2 points over 25 outings, Love's worst production since his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09.
Colangelo sees Love's inclusion as an error.
"Well, it didn't work out. He wasn't in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out," he said. "So you move on. Call it a mistake. Call it giving someone an opportunity. Someone who had equity with us."
Colangelo, whose 16-year run in charge of USA Basketball will end following the Tokyo Games, also shared his thoughts on Trae Young after the Atlanta Hawks All-Star openly campaigned on social media to replace Beal.
"I'm happy that he wants to play for USA Basketball," Colangelo said. "He's done really well in the NBA.
"But predicated on what we felt we needed, he didn't fit the bill this time around. He's a young player, he has a future with USA Basketball, but it was the opinion of our staff that it wasn't now. It's for others to make the declaration you made a mistake."
Team USA (1-1) closes out Group A play against the Czech Republic on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET. Winning would ensure the Americans progress to the knockout round, while a defeat could still be enough to secure one of two spots for third-place finishers.