Blake Griffin withdraws from Team USA FIBA team

Blake Griffin has spun out of Team USA this summer.  (USATSI)
Blake Griffin has spun out of Team USA this summer. (USATSI)

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The Clippers announced Thursday night that Blake Griffin has decided to withdraw from playing for Team USA this summer in the 2014 FIBA Tournament in order to focus on the upcoming season. 

“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.”

John Wall was added to the roster of 19 players who will eventually be cut to 12 before heading to Spain in late August. Griffin had the longest playoff run of his career, going to six games vs. the Thunder in the second round after a grueling and emotional first-round series vs. the Warriors. He appeared in 93 games total this season, the most of his career. 

So the break is kind of understandable. This isn't uncommon. Get a player on a Team USA for the Olympics and he'll fight for that spot to the end. Put him on a FIBA team and it's basically "eh." 

The Team USA roster is stocked with bigs, though, so the loss shouldn't be too bad. DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Kevin Love are all track to participate. No big crunch there, for Jerry Colangelo and Coach Krzyzewski. 

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