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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kevin Durant: Gone from Team USA

By on 8/09/2014 02:28:00 PM

Yesterday, Kevin Durant announced his decision to withdraw from Team USA and the FIBA World Cup. In a statement, Durant said:

Kevin Durant Team USA

After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint. I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season.

The seemingly vague nature of the stated reasons behind Durant's decision have given rise to speculation as to what the real reasons for his decision may be. The timing of Durant's decision has advanced two primary theories.

Seemingly the most popular theory is that Durant's rumored big money move from his shoe endorsement contract with Nike to Under Armour was contingent on his withdrawal from Team USA. Under Armour has reportedly offered Durant over $300 million and equity in the company, so it's understandable that they would want to protect their investment.

It's even more understandable that UA might ask Durant to bow out given the basis of the second most popular theory for why KD might have bailed on the summer tournament: Paul George's devastating broken leg suffered in the Team USA Blue-White scrimmage on Aug. 1. Perhaps Durant was spooked by George's broken leg, independent of his shoe deal, or maybe Under Armour was the one who was spooked and made Durant's deal contingent on his protecting himself.

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