WASHINGTON: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said Friday he has declined the chance to play on the US Olympic team of NBA stars that will seek a third consecutive gold medal in August at Rio.
Beal announced on Twitter that he would join a growing group of players saying no to Rio, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden and John Wall.
Others who declined are Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, Gordon Hayward and Damian Lillard.
Beal said he wanted to push his fitness routine to better prepare for the upcoming NBA campaign.
“I could not be more grateful for the invitation to represent my country, as it is the ultimate honor, however it is with deep regret that I have declined the opportunity to participate with Team USA this summer in Rio,” Beal said.
“I have made the decision to dedicate this summer to getting in the best physical shape of my life and feel it is imperative that I stay true to my plan so I can be at my very best supporting my coaches and teammates for the upcoming season.”
Beal, who turns 23 on Tuesday, suffered a leg injury last season. He played in only 55 games and averaged 17.4 points. He becomes a restricted free agent next Friday and the Wizards will reportedly offer him a large contract.
USA Basketball is expected to name a roster next week that includes Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Indiana’s Paul George, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is also a possibility.