Bradley Beal, Zion Williamson, and Tobias Harris were the latest to back out on playing for Team USA this summer in the World Cup.
This brings the total to seven players who have decided in recent weeks to skip the World Cup either due to personal reasons or to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. Anthony Davis, James Harden, Eric Gordon, as well as CJ McCollum have all withdrawn their names from consideration.
Add in the fact that Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook can’t play due to injuries and players like Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Stephen Curry aren’t participating, Team USA won’t be as star-studded as it’s been over the years.
They still have a talented roster with the likes of Kemba Walker, Kevin Love, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, and Damian Lillard, but you have to wonder what the team’s chances are heading into the World Cup next month.
The United States will be able to breeze through group play because they’ve been slotted with the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Japan but once you get into the tournament portion and have to potentially go against teams like Russia and Canada that could give them fits in their pursuit for gold.
You don’t fault the players for backing out because of the risk of injury but they also need to realize that this could be their lone opportunity to represent the country in a global event as they may not get the next opportunity to represent them in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.