James the latest NBA star to sit out Games

NEW YORK • LeBron James on Thursday joined a National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star line-up of talent who will not play for the United States at the Rio Olympics.

A flurry of reports ahead of next week's announcement of the final US roster for Brazil was topped when Cleveland.com said James had told USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski that he would not play in August.

"I could use the rest," the 31- year-old forward told the website.

James, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA's greatest-ever Finals comeback to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, cited the grind of having logged so much court time through six consecutive trips to the Finals. A source told the website that the Zika virus did not play a role in his decision.

NBA Most Valuable Player and scoring leader Stephen Curry of Golden State said during the Finals that he would not play in Rio.

Star guards Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and James Harden of Houston also have backed out of consideration, as have San Antonio forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Washington forward John Wall, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis of New Orleans.

Joining that group on Thursday were Portland's Damian Lillard, who wants to rehabilitate a plantar fasciitis injury; Utah forward Gordon Hayward; and San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2016, with the headline 'James the latest NBA star to sit out Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe