LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Houston Rockets star James Harden is opting out of the basketball World Cup in China, the Houston Chronicle reported on Friday.
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Davis – the former New Orleans Pelicans star who just signed to team with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers – had withdrawn from consideration for the US World Cup team that will be coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Lowry undergoes surgery
In Toronto, Kyle Lowry has undergone surgery to repair damaged ligaments in his left thumb, an injury he played through during the last two rounds of Toronto’s run to the NBA championship.
The Raptors say Friday that Lowry had the surgery in New York at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
The All-Star point guard was hurt May 12 during Game 7 of a victory over Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He continued to play and helped Toronto win its first title when he finished with 26 points and 10 assists in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Golden State.
Lowry averaged 15 points and 6.6 assists in 24 postseason games. (AP)
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