Lost in Team USA winning Gold in Tokyo was USA Basketball boss Jerry Colangelo going after Kevin Love, who was part of the team in training camp but pulled out before the side went to Japan.
Love made clear that he didn’t think he would be able to contribute as he was working his way back from a calf injury, and Colangelo did no really like what he had to say in repsonse.
“I didn’t think Kevin Love was going to play. I wasn’t even sure he had much left to play,” Colangelo said. “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.
“Well, it didn’t work out,” Colangelo continued. “He wasn’t in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out. So you move on. Call it a mistake. Call it giving someone an opportunity. Someone who had equity with us.”
As Love explained on HBO’s The Shop, the Cavs big man went as far as to offer up a big “f*ck him” to the longtime basketball executive.
“You weren’t the only one,” Love said after Maverick Carter used the words “fcked up” to describe Colangelo’s comments. “[LeBron James] called me, same thing, and was like, ‘Yeah, fck that, that’s something that should never be said, regardless of what was said on either side and all of that, you just never do that.’”
“He wanted something to point the finger at if they lost.”
“It was just wrong in so many ways,” Love said. “And for me, I’m sitting up here being the nice guy right now, but honestly, f*ck that.”
Team USA struggled early at the Tokyo Olympics, dropping its first game at the event since 2004. The team recovered and won another gold medal.