LOS ANGELES: Houston Rockets star James Harden is opting out of the basketball World Cup in China, the Houston Chronicle reported on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Harden, speaking at a charity event, told the newspaper he wants to spend the rest of the NBA off-season preparing to play with a new-look Rockets, who acquired Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook in a trade for Chris Paul this month.
Houston’s Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker are currently slated to play for the USA, which will hold a training camp in Las Vegas August 5-9 before the World Cup begins in China on August 31.
Harden’s decision comes days after news broke that Anthony Davis — the former New Orleans Pelicans star who just signed to team with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers — had withdrawn from consideration for the US World Cup team that will be coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.