James Harden and Eric Gordon are two of the latest players to announce they will not participate in the FIBA World Cup this summer.
Harden, fresh off the announcement of his stake in the Houston Dynamo-Dash ownership group, told San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on Friday that he will not be joining the team in China next month. The 2018 NBA MVP said that his primary focus this offseason is preparing with the new Rockets roster.
Saturday, Gordon followed Harden’s lead. The former Sixth Man of the Year decided not to remain with the team, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The Houston Rockets stars are just two of a few other prominent names to withdraw from FIBA activity. Anthony Davis, like Harden, dropped out to focus on his first stint with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers also withdrew on Saturday to focus on the upcoming season, even with no real roster shakeup.
As of now, P.J. Tucker appears to be the only Rockets player not to pass on USA Basketball activities this summer.