Cavs' James to sit out Olympics, Anthony and Butler opt in
Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler are among the latest players who have committed to playing for the United States at the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.Anthony, the New York Knicks forward, will be on the squad for a fourth time if he makes th...
Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler are among the latest players who have committed to playing for the United States at the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.
Anthony, the New York Knicks forward, will be on the squad for a fourth time if he makes the final 12-man roster. Butler, a guard for the Chicago Bulls, would be playing in his first Olympics.
Also giving commitments to play are the Toronto Raptors backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Cleveland forward LeBron James announced Thursday that he will not participate, citing the need for rest after playing in six consecutive NBA Finals, as well as the last three Olympic Games.
Also, Portland point guard Damian Lillard (foot) won’t be part of the team due to injury, and San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard he withdrew his name in a team news release.
Leonard, a defensive specialist who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 NBA Finals when the Spurs won the championship, did not disclose any reason for his decision.
While a handful of athletes from other sports have pulled out of the Aug. 5-21 Olympics due to health fears over the Zika virus in Brazil, no NBA player has yet to cite the mosquito-borne virus for their decision.
Zika can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.
Jordan reportedly is in the mix for a roster spot because Detroit center Andre Drummond has decided not to play.
Other players who have committed to playing include Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, Indiana forward Paul George, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins and two Golden State Warriors - forward Draymond Green and guard Klay Thompson.
Another player who hasn’t reached a decision is Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving.
The team’s training camp will run July 18-21 in Las Vegas. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the coach and Olympic basketball competition will be held Aug. 6-21.
Players who previously withdrew include Golden State point guard Stephen Curry, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard James Harden. Out for health reasons are LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Chris Paul (Clippers) and John Wall (Washington Wizards).