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James Harden withdraws from World Cup participation

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, July 21, 2019 5:02pm

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has withdrawn his participation from the Team USA that will be participating in the upcoming World Cup of Basketball to focus on his team’s preparations for the next National Basketball Association season, according to a report.

NBA.com, in an article, cited Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle that Harden has informed Team USA coach Gregg Popovich that he is withdrawing from the team that will be representing the U.S. in the FIBA World Cup in China from August 31.

The former National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player noted that he wanted to spend the remainder of the offseason to focus on preparing for the retooled Rockets, particularly in teaming up with new Rockets recruit Russell Westbrook.

Harden’s Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon, meanwhile, are both scheduled to participate in Team USA practices in Las Vegas from August 5 to 9.

Harden has previously played for the 2012 USA Basketball Olympic team and 2014 World Cup team. He became the second player to withdraw from the team after Anthony Davis, who last week also said he will not be part of the team. Team USA, however, is still the favorite considering the firepower that they have with all members of the team coming from NBA teams.

The FIBA World Cup is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

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