JAMES Harden became the latest NBA superstar to withdraw from the the US team's title defense in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, Harden informed Team USA coach Gregg Popovich of his decision to beg off to be able to focus on his preparation for the next NBA season, where he will be joined by Russell Westbrook at the Houston Rockets camp.
Harden was part of the US team that ruled the World Cup in 2014 in Spain. He also won a basketball gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London.
His pullout came just days after new LA Lakers recruit Anthony Davis also withdrew from the team that will gather for a training camp in Las Vegas next month before proceeding to China for the August 31 to Sept. 15 showpiece.
Harden's teammates Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker are still committed to play for Team USA, which will be led by Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker.
Other remaining members of Popovich's pool are Khris Middleton, Andre Drummond, Donovan Mitchell, Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez and Jayson Tatum, among others.