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James Harden withdraws from Team USA for Rio Olympics

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Fourteen

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Fourteen

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The list keeps on growing.

Stephen Curry. Chris Paul. Russell Westbrook. John Wall.

And now you can add James Harden to the list of guards who has decided not to go to Brazil to play for Team USA this summer.

“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 in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil,” Harden said in a statement he released.

“This decision was a painstaking one I did not take lightly. As a member of the 2012 London Olympic Gold Medal Team, and team Captian 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 compete a 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 did not name a specific reason for the pull out. However, there are athletes in a number of Olympic sports who have started to withdraw from the games due to concerns over the Zika virus and malaria outbreaks in Brazil.

Harden also will want to spend this summer getting in a lot better shape if he’s going to run in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

The USA will still have Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler at the two guard spot, and a lot of strong wings (Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, etc) to cover that slot.