In the light of the Zika virus, two more athletes – LeBron James and Stephen Curry – will be skipping the Olympic games. James and Curry, though, did not cite the fear of Zika virus for their withdrawal from the U.S. national team like other athletes in different sports.
In golf, a sport returning to the Olympic games for the first time since 1904, many top players have already stated that they are out because of Zika fears. According to Allen St. John in his Forbes article, one of the first to withdraw citing Zika concerns was veteran Vijay Singh. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson – the top four golfers in the world – are also avoiding the Rio Olympics ?because of Zika concerns.
The U.S. Olympic basketball team will not have some of their top stars such as Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden. They did not cite Zika concerns though, but according to a report by Victor Mather in ?New York Times, they cited fatigue or injury as their reasons for dropping out of the team.
As pointed out by Mather, their absence will not matter much as Team USA is still pretty formidable. You can see the 12 players comprising the U.S. national basketball team for the Rio Olympics in this official tweet below.
Meet the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 27, 2016
The team still has a well-rounded player in Kevin Durant. Superstar Carmelo Anthony is still there. Klay Thompson and NBA 2016 First Runner-up Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes are there too. The NBA Champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, will be well represented by Kyrie Irving. Paul George is in there as well as Jimmy Butler.
They will contend against the second best team, Spain, which ?have less top NBA quality players. Spain only has Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio. Marc Gasol?s status is still up in the air after breaking his foot in February. It looks like Team USA is heavily favored to win the Olympic Gold this year. A fluke could happen, but the odds do lean towards the Americans.