James Harden.

James Harden adds to the list of withdrawals for 2016 Olympics

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It hasn't been the best of weeks for Team USA basketball as a number of its best players withdrew from consideration for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

Stephen Curry and LaMarcus Aldridge pulled out earlier this week and Russell Westbrook added his name to the list yesterday too joining Chris Paul who was the first player to announce his withdrawal several months ago.

The bad news doesn't stop there for Team USA, unfortunately. Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden has now become the latest player to withdraw from the Olympics.

The 26-year-old released a statement on Friday explaining how, despite the decision being a tough one, it was something he ultimately felt he had to do.

"As a result of many difficult conversations with my family, the Rockets, and trusted advisors, I've notified Jerry Colangelo and Team USA that I will not be competing at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil," Harden announced.

"This decision was a painstaking one that I did not take lightly. As a member of the 2012 London Olympic Gold Medal Team, and as Team Captain for the 2014 FIBA Gold Medal Team, it goes without saying that USA Basketball has provided me with some of the most meaningful personal and professional accomplishments of my life."

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets

As he mentioned, Harden was a member of the Olympic gold medal-winning team at the London 2012 Games alongside a star-studded line-up which featured LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Westbrook and Paul.

The national team may have lost some of its most talented stars for the showpiece in Rio but it still has a number of quality players in its ranks. 

The likes of Durant, Paul George and Klay Thompson have all declared their intentions to play in Brazil and should still provide Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski with enough firepower to go for gold once again.

Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
James Harden

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