Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has withdrawn his name from the U.S. roster that will play at the World Cup in Spain this summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday night.
In a tweet from Jeff Zillgitt from USA Today Sports, Jerry Colangelo of USA Basketball said Westbrook wanted to play but believed it was a bad idea given his history of knee issues; the news comes after a season in which he returned from his third surgery on his right knee. The trip to Spain includes a two-month commitment that involves a training camp in July, an exhibition tour in August and the tournament in Spain in September. The news leaves open the possibility that Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard or the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving could join the roster. The Bulls' Derrick Rose is still deciding whether to join the team, Wojnarowski said.
The 25-year-old three-time All-Star still hopes to play at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, according to the report. He was a part of the team that won gold medals in 2010 at the world championships and in the Olympics in 2012.
USAB's Jerry Colangelo said Russell Westbrook wanted to play at this summer's FIBA World Cup but season knee injuries made it unwise. — Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 8, 2014