Via press release, the Los Angeles Clippers announce that All-Star forward Blake Griffin has withdrawn from the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
“I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer,” Griffin said on his withdrawal. “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.”
While the playoffs haven’t been kind to the power forward, not too many players have compiled more regular season minutes than Blake Griffin. Since his rookie season (2010-11), only Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, LeBron James, and DeMar Derozan have played more regular season minutes than Griffin.
One of the 19 named to participate in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Griffin’s absence will create the opportunity for another young, promising big man to receive playing time, similar to Anthony Davis in the 2012 London Olympics who took Griffin’s place after pulling out due to injury.
Last season, Griffin averaged a career-high 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game and was named to his third consecutive All-NBA team (2nd).