Russell Westbrook and James Harden out of 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Russell Westbrook and James Harden out of 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

russell westbrook and james harden out of summer olympics in rio 2016 images

Russell Westbrook, James Harden Withdraw from Team USA 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, DeMarcus Cousins Joins Roster

As NBA stars continue to drop off the Team USA roster for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the perpetually overlooked DeMarcus Cousins gets to live out his dream.

Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook and Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden become the latest players to withdraw from Olympic competition citing concerns over the Zika virus in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” said Westbrook in a statement on the Thunder’s website. “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.”

Not long after Westbrook made his announcement, Harden decided to take his name out of the hat as well.

“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,” said Harden. “This decision was a painstaking one that I did not take lightly.”

Westbrook and Harden join Chris Paul, John Wall, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis as other big name players to pull out of the games. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are both still on the fence.

LeBron and others could continue to drop like flies without hurting the USA’s Gold Medal chances as long as hungry players like Cousins are still around to pick up the slack.

demarcus cousins joins team usa for rio summer olympics 2016 images

Cousins, the superstar for the Sacramento Kings, brings the unstoppable scoring and rebounding force that the team needs with Anthony Davis recovering this summer. Cousins was also a pivotal part of the 2014 Team USA squad that won Gold in the FIBA Tournament.

Let’s hope that concerns over the virus do not continue to adversely affect the Summer Games this year. Let’s also hope that the athletes that do go don’t have any issues.

Click to add a comment

Chris covers everything NBA, NFL and NCAA with his weekly recaps, highlights and anything else he thinks you'll want to know about and more than likely things you don't want to hear about your favorite team. His take no prisoners opinion gets some fans worked up, but that's because he's almost always right.

More in NBA

dwyane wade gets over on lebron james twice in one night 2016 images

Dwyane Wade gets over on LeBron James twice in one night

Chris MauriceDecember 4, 2016
john wall demarcus cousins nba indecision 2016 images

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins NBA indecision

Chris MauriceNovember 30, 2016
new york knicks gets sprinter marshall plumlees nba debut 2016 images

New York Knicks get sprinter Marshall Plumlee’s NBA debut

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
new york knicks have 'come to jesus' meeting with phil jackson 2016 images

New York Knicks have ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Phil Jackson

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
kevin durant talks russell westbrook and warriors loss 2016 images

Kevin Durant talks Russell Westbrook and Warriors loss

Chris MauriceNovember 3, 2016
espn hit piece doesn't sway stephen curry from draymond green 2016 images

ESPN hit piece doesn’t sway Stephen Curry from Draymond Green

Chris MauriceOctober 24, 2016
dwyane wade praises NBA super teams 2016 images

Dwyane Wade praises NBA Super Teams

Chris MauriceOctober 16, 2016
NBA Preseason protests show unity of hate for Kevin Durant 2016 images

NBA Preseason protests show unity of hate for Kevin Durant

Chris MauriceOctober 3, 2016
chris bosh career with miami heat over 2016 images

Chris Bosh career with Miami Heat over

Chris MauriceSeptember 27, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription