Oklahoma City Thunder Star Russell Westbrook and Houston Rockets Frontman James Harden, have both passed on participation in the Rio games. Both players released statements on Friday, citing their reasons for not joining Team USA on the court this year, while also stating their hopes to be able to join the team again in the future.
“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” Westbrook stated. “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.”
Westbrook was a member of both the 2010 and 2012 games, while Harden represented the team in both 2012 and 2014.
The two join a crew of league stars who have declined offers to participate this year including Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin.