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Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Rockets guard James Harden are the latest NBA stars to that have opted to skip competing for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics this summer.
With a deadly virus floating around in Brazil, USA Basketball has been losing some big names over the past few weeks for what is supposed to be the biggest summer Olympics of all-time. Westbrook and Harden join Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, John Wall and league MVP Stephen Curry in players who will not be competing in the Olympics. Via ESPN:
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard James Harden became the latest stars to announce they are withdrawing their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s 2016 Rio Olympics team.
“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” Westbrook said in a statement Friday. “This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.”
“As a member of the 2012 London Olympic Gold Medal Team, and as Team Captain for the 2014 FIBA Gold Medal Team, it goes without saying that USA Basketball has provided me with some of the most meaningful personal and professional accomplishments of my life,” Harden said in a statement. “I have been extremely blessed to wear the ‘red, white, and blue’ and to compete at the highest international level with the greatest players representing the greatest country in the world. I sincerely hope I’ll earn an opportunity to represent Team USA again in the future.”