Report: LeBron James to miss the Olympics; Kevin Durant confirms participation

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It hasn't been a great couple of weeks for Team USA as they gear up for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer. 

MVP Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge all pulled out from international duty recently after a rigorous season.

They followed in the footsteps of L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul who announced his intentions towards the end of the regular season. 

It now appears the U.S. will soon be given news about another withdrawal and possibly their most high-profile.

Fresh off winning a first ever championship for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James is expected to skip the Olympics after a long campaign that saw him play to the very end.

The King was always keen to represent his country in Brazil but was unable to give a definitive answer until the year came to a conclusion.

A report from The Vertical's Chris Mannix stated:

"In the aftermath of a gruelling NBA Finals, LeBron James is leaning toward not competing at the Olympics in Rio this summer, league sources told The Vertical.

"While James has not informed USA Basketball of his decision, team officials are operating with the expectation that it is unlikely James will be part of the team."

LeBron has already competed in three Olympic Games and won two gold medals, so his decision to rest this summer instead of clocking up more miles on his body seems like a sensible one. 

Still strong

Despite the withdrawal of James, Team USA will be able to count on the services of Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. 

KD was a part of the gold medal-winning team at London 2012 and is keen to don the USA jersey once again in one of the biggest sporting events in the world. 

Speaking to the Oklahoman at the launch of his new sneaker in Austin, Texas, he said: "I'm excited about it, I'm looking forward to it. The Olympics is an experience that doesn't come around every year as we know. And it's like, not all NBA players can play on it. 

"To hand-pick the best 12 guys in the world, in the NBA at this point (from the US) and to put them on a team that's an accomplishment in itself. I'm excited about the opportunity, I'm looking forward to seeing who else is on the team. And we'll go from there."

The 2014 MVP will be given a leadership role with the team and will be supported by some of the league's most talented young players.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein; Paul George, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson are locks to be on the 12-man roster alongside Durant. 

The Undefeated's Marc Spears also reports that Draymond Green has accepted an invitation to be on the roster which would see six or seven spots remaining. 

Other players likely to be on the plane to Rio are Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and possibly Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond. 

However, we won't know for sure until the Team USA official announcement is made at the end of June.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Kevin Durant

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