Harden will skip basketball World Cup

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 PJ Tucker are currently slated to play for the United States (US), which will hold a training camp in Las Vegas on 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Davis – the former New Orleans Pelicans star who just signed to team with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers – had withdrawn from consideration for the US World Cup team that will be coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

File photo shows James Harden. – XINHUA