Love looking forward to representing USA again

by Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Jun 21 2014 01:50 AM | Updated as of Jun 21 2014 09:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- NBA All-Star Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves is in for a long summer as he is set to play for the United States national men's basketball team in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, where they are the defending champions.

Love was part of the 2010 team that beat host team Turkey in the finals, and was also a member of the US team that captured the gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"I'm looking forward to this summer," Love said in an interview with ABS-CBN News' TJ Manotoc.

"The old cliche holds true - play for the name on the front, and not the name on the back," added Love, adding that it was an honor for him to get to represent his country.

"I've been fortunate enough to be on podiums that are just a little bit higher than the others and have the gold medal around our necks, so it's definitely a way of feeling patriotic," he added.

"And you get to team up with the world's best, some of your country's best, so it's a lot of fun to take part in that."

Love, a 3-time NBA All-Star, expects teams like Spain, Argentina, Russia, and even Turkey to be tough opponents. He, however, warned that they cannot take any team for granted.

"There are a lot of teams that... can give us a run for our money and are very tough, and have players that not only have been in the NBA or are in the NBA now, but are very good in FIBA basketball," he pointed out. "So anybody can win on any given day."

As far as his own future with Team USA is concerned, Love said it is "open-ended."

"I've had a great time playing with them, and they've done a lot for my career," he said. "But it's open-ended. I plan on playing this year and also in 2016 (in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics)."

"But after that, I'll kinda see how my body feels. Definitely, there are long summers, but at the end of the day, it's worth it to have a gold medal around your neck and represent your country," he added.

"So it's really tough to say at this point."

The United States is in Group C of the FIBA World Cup along with the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Finland, New Zealand, and Ukraine. The tournament will be held in Spain from August 30 until September 14.