When the Kevin Durant-led U.S men's basketball team takes to the court in Tokyo next month, they will be seeking its fourth consecutive Olympic gold.
Jalen Rose, one ESPN's basketball analysts said that he was disappointed Kevin Love, who was White, was on Thursday's Olympic roster.
"I am excited about the roster. I assume that we will win the gold. I am disappointed in one thing. Every day I perform this show in front of Tommie Smith (Mourning) and John Carlos, who are raising their fists at the Olympics. Christian Laettner's favoritism when he was selected for the Dream Team over Shaq (Mourning) is something I also remember. They made it possible for a college player to even get on, and gave him favoritism," he stated on his show "Jalen & Jacoby."
"But this level of, I got a term for it... Kevin Love is on team because of tokenism. Do not be afraid to form an all-Black team for the United States of America. That is disappointing. Anyone who watched the league this season knows that Kevin Love didn't have a stellar year, wasn't the best player on the team, and did not deserve to be on this squad. I won't take Kevin Love off the squad, but I will put someone else on it. I will tell you which spot it should be.
"That young man should have been born in the Bahamas. He is an All-American McDonald's All-American and he plays high school and college in Phoenix. Kevin Love should have Deandre Ayton's spot. "I'm also disappointed that Team USA didn't send an all-Black Olympic team."
During the 2016 Olympics, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were at their heights, Team USA had an all Black team. Love was on Team USA's 2012 Olympic team. Both won gold medals.
Laetner had more momentum in 1992 to win the "Dream Team" over O'Neal or Mourning. Laetner was also the Naismith College Player-of-the-Year and his Duke teams won backwards national titles, while O'Neal's LSU team was eliminated in round two of the 1992 tournament. Mourning's Georgetown team was defeated by Florida State in round 2.
Love appeared in only 25 games during the 2020-21 season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With 12.2 points per contest, he was still in the top five. He also had 7.4 boards per match. He has also been a key advocate for mental health in the league.
Ayton has represented the Bahamas at international competitions. He was a member of the team at the Centrobasket tournament 2016. It is not clear if he was selected for Team USA.