Kevin Love Slams Jerry Colangelo for Criticism Around Tokyo Olympics: 'F--k Him'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 25, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 10: Kevin Love #11 of the USA Men's National Team looks on during the game against the Nigeria Men's National Team on July 10, 2021 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

It's safe to say that Kevin Love isn't a fan of former Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo.

Love appeared on Friday's episode of HBO's The Shop with Maverick Carter, Naomi Osaka, Wanda Sykes, Jadakiss and Paul Rivera and addressed what unfolded this past summer when he was initially included on Team USA's men's basketball roster for the Tokyo Olympics and then eventually withdrew while citing injury.

"F--k him," Love said, echoing Carter's sentiment, when discussing Colangelo's comments suggesting he was out of shape and not in an ideal condition to play. 

UNINTERRUPTED @uninterrupted

Not many Jerry Colangelo fans in this room after he threw <a href="https://twitter.com/kevinlove?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kevinlove</a> under the bus 😬 😬 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheShop?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheShop</a><br><br>The Shop: Uninterrupted is now streaming on <a href="https://twitter.com/hbomax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HBOmax</a>. <a href="https://t.co/FI1DoVUQ28">pic.twitter.com/FI1DoVUQ28</a>

The Cleveland Cavaliers forward explained he approached Colangelo and Team USA and said he was going to step away from the group so the Americans could replace him. According to Love, Colangelo told him how much he respected such a move and promised Team USA would protect the player regarding his withdrawal.

And then he threw Love under the bus.

As Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported in July, Colangelo said the following: 

"I didn't think Kevin Love was going to play. I wasn't even sure he had much left to play. 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. 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 Carter explained, Love is still in the league and theoretically will want another contract down the line. Such comments could easily make their way back to general managers and impact the five-time All-Star's bargaining power if front offices believe he is not in shape.

Notably, Love revealed former teammate LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who are both multi-time medal winners for Team USA, called him to express their anger at what Colangelo said.

"Bron called me, same thing, and was like 'yeah, f--k that. That's something that should never be said regardless of what was said on either side and all of it; you just never do that.'"

Love also said Colangelo made those comments because he was "protecting his legacy. He wanted something to point the finger at if they lost. In case it didn't go right, which it was looking bad. It was just wrong in so many ways."

Team USA ended up winning the gold medal before Colangelo retired from his position, but it wasn't always smooth sailing.

In fact, the Americans lost their opening game to France and didn't look the part of overwhelming gold-medal favorites. It was a reason for alarm, especially since they lost an exhibition game leading up to the Olympics and didn't have much roster continuity.

To their credit, they bounced back and won the gold medal by defeating that same France team.

While the result was gold, Colangelo's comments didn't sit well with multiple star players with a history with Team USA.