James Harden, guard for Houston Rockets, released a statement concerning his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for a spot on USA’s Olympic Basketball Team.
“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 explained. “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 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.”
Harden joins a growing list of players opting out of this year’s festivities. So far Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, and John Wall have withdrawn their names from consideration. The upcoming Olympic Games will be located in Rio De Janeiro. Those who have given reasons cited injuries. So far no one has explicitly cited the Zika virus concerns as a reason for withdrawal.