Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook
Getty Images

Russell Westbrook to skip Olympics; U.S. left with 3 point guards

Leave a comment

Russell Westbrook will not play in Rio, which means the U.S. Olympic team will include zero point guards with prior Olympic experience for the first time since 2004.

“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” Westbrook said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.”

Westbrook, 27, is the seventh of 31 finalists for the U.S. Olympic team to publicly withdraw from consideration before the 12-man roster is expected to be named later this month.

Previously, LaMarcus AldridgeStephen CurryChris PaulJohn WallAnthony Davis and Blake Griffin withdrew for various reasons.

Westbrook was the third point guard (in minutes played) behind Paul and Deron Williams at the London Olympics.

The U.S. has three point guards left to choose from among its finalists — Mike ConleyKyrie Irving and Damian Lillard. Lillard was a late addition to the list of finalists in February.

MORE: Wiggins skips Canada Olympic qualifying

U.S. can choose from 4 point guards without Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall

Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook
Getty Images
Leave a comment

USA Basketball is now down three point guards from its original list of 30 finalists for the Olympic team of 12 players that is expected to be announced in June.

NBA MVP Stephen Curry followed two-time Olympic champion Chris Paul‘s withdrawal from consideration on Monday. The Wizards’ John Wall, a point guard like Curry and Paul, is also not expected to be able to play due to knee surgery.

Who else is left?

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (2012 Olympian, 2010 FIBA World Cup)
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers (2014 FIBA World Cup)
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (an addition to the finalists list in February)

The U.S. sent three point guards to the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, and with the same head coach and officials in place for Rio, it would be expected three will be on this year’s roster.

MORE: U.S. Olympic basketball game times announced