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Jalen Rose is upset with Team USA.
Following the announcement that Kevin Love will join the 12-man roster for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Rose said the Cavaliers veteran doesn’t deserve a spot on Team USA.
“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” the former NBA star, who has the Renaissance Man column and podcast host for The Post – said on his “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast Thursday. “Don’t be scared to make an all-Black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that.”
Rose backed his comments by pointing out Love’s lackluster season in Cleveland.
“Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad,” he said.
Love played in just 25 games this season and averaged 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
At one point, his future in Cleveland — where he won a championship with LeBron James in 2016 — was in question. During the regular season, Love appeared visibly frustrated with the team and its young core. The 32-year-old just finished the second year of a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavs, who are in the midst of a major rebuild.
“I’m not going to take him off the squad and not put somebody else on it,” Rose continued, before campaigning for who he thinks should take Love’s Team USA roster spot.
“I’m gonna to tell you who’s spot that should be. That should be a young man that was born in the Bahamas, is a McDonald’s All-American, played in high school and college in Phoenix Arizona. Deandre Ayton should have Kevin Love’s spot and I’m disappointed in Team USA for not having the courage to send an all Black team to the Olympics.”
Ayton, who turns 24 in July, has no Olympic experience, but has had an incredible season in Phoenix, which currently has a 2-1 lead over the Clippers in the Western Conference Finals.
Love, on the other hand, has championship and Olympic experience. He helped Team USA win gold during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Love was not part of Team USA’s roster in Rio during the 2016 Summer Olympics, all of whom were black.
NBA players around the league who’ve already committed to Team USA’s olympic roster include: Damian Lillard (Blazers), Kevin Durant (Nets), Draymond Green (Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Bucks), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Bam Adebayo (Heat), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Devin Booker (Suns) and Zach Lavine (Bulls).
Chris Paul (Suns) and James Harden (Nets), who initially committed to play in Tokyo, have since reportedly dropped out. Pistons forward Jerami Grant will reportedly fill Harden’s vacant spot.
Players who’ve declined to play in the summer games include: LeBron James (Lakers), Anthony Davis (Lakers), Steph Curry (Warriors) and Kyle Lowry (Raptors).
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