Houston Rockets guard James Harden has withdrawn from consideration for the USA Basketball roster that will compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.
“As a result of many difficult conversations with my family, the Rockets, and trusted advisors, I've notified Jerry Colangelo and Team USA that I will not be competing at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil,” Harden said in a statement. “This decision was a painstaking one that I did not take lightly. 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. I have been extremely blessed to wear the ‘red, white and blue’ and to compete at the highest 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.”
The announcement comes just hours after Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook also pulled out of the team citing personal reasons. No basketball player has withdrawn due to concerns about political unrest or the Zika virus in Brazil.
The American squad will also be without stars LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and John Wall in Brazil as they all have chosen to skip the tournament due to injuries.
Kings star DeMarcus Cousins was reportedly informed that he will be a member of the 2016 Olympic team.