The MVP may be out, but the man who nearly put him out of the playoffs is all in.
Kevin Durant told ESPN Monday that he still plans to compete in this summer's Olympics for Team USA. This coming after the Warriors' Stephen Curry announced he would skip Rio to rest his sore knee.
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, meanwhile, tells ESPN's @RoyceYoung he is indeed still planning to play for Team USA this summer in Brazil.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 6, 2016
It's an interesting decision given Durant's free agency. Often players elect not to compete because they need to focus on making the decision on where to play. But Durant values being a leader on Team USA. This would be Durant's second Olympic gold medal and third gold medal in international play.
With so many big name stars out, Durant's presence will be important for Team USA, even in a year where the international competition is the weakest it's been in 16 years. With Durant back in the fold, the U.S. should be able to maintain its iron-clad lock on the gold, despite the absence of so many top players, with other declinations expected in the wake of South America's continuing crisis regarding the Zika virus.