Russell Westbrook Withdraws From Olympics In Brazil

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook announced he will not play for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, adding to a substantial roster of NBA stars who are opting out of the games.

“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” Westbrook said in a statement released Friday. “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, who helped USA win gold in 2012, did not reveal why he gave up his spot on the roster. Also skipping the Olympics are NBA stars Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and John Wall, who say injuries will keep them from participating.

While some players reportedly have fears about the Zika outbreak in Brazil, no American basketball player has cited the virus as their reason for avoiding the games. 

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil begin the first week of August.

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