Lebron withdraws from Rio consideration: report

Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:59pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - LeBron James has decided to withdraw from U.S. Olympic basketball team consideration for the Rio Games in order to get some rest, the cleveland.com website reported on Thursday.

James, who led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in a seven-game NBA Finals series, became the latest in a string of NBA players to opt out of consideration for the Games.

The three-time NBA champion and four-time league Most Valuable Player won gold medals with Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Earlier on Thursday, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard announced he would not participate in the Olympics, without disclosing any reason.

"This was a very difficult decision," Leonard, 24, said in a statement released by the Spurs.

"It's an honor to have been considered for the team and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball."

The All-Star forward averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game for the Spurs during the 2015-16 season along with 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

While a handful of athletes from other sports have pulled out of the Aug. 5-21 Olympics due to health fears over the Zika virus in Brazil, no NBA player has yet to cite the mosquito-borne virus for their decision.

Zika can cause crippling birth defects and, in adults, has been linked to the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre.   Continued...

 
June 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) in the second half in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports