Kevin Love heard the blowback when he scored a coveted spot on the U.S. national team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after one of the worst seasons of his career. So did coach Gregg Popovich, who had a message for the doubters.

"We're going to work his ass off the next four to five weeks and demand a lot," Popovich said after the team's first practice at UNLV on Tuesday.

"That's going to definitely get him back into the rhythm he needs to be in to continue to play. I think that's one of the big reasons he wanted to do this, so he can get himself back to who he was."

Popovich made the call to offer a spot to Love, believing his ability to shoot and be rough in the paint fighting for rebounds could be valuable going up against some of the veteran European squads Team USA will face in Japan.