August 7, 2014 / 11:45 PM / 3 years ago

Durant withdraws from Team USA for World Cup

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Jul 30, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA guard Kevin Durant (right) dribbles the ball against guard James Harden (left) during a team practice session at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - NBA most valuable player Kevin Durant has withdrawn from consideration for the U.S. team defending their title at this month's Basketball World Cup, USA Basketball said on Thursday.

Durant said he was "physically and mentally drained," USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward was the biggest draw among the final 16 players competing for berths on the 12-man team that will represent the United States in the 24-nation tournament starting Aug. 30 in Spain.

Durant's withdrawal follows the loss of the Indiana Pacers' Paul George, who last week suffered a compound fracture of his right leg when he landed badly during a team scrimmage.

In recent weeks, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard have removed themselves from the pool of players for various reasons.

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue

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