After Marcus Thompson‘s announcement that Stephen Curry was skipping the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, another marquee guy for the United States has decided to forgo the summer games. Marc Stein reported that the San Antonio Spurs‘ superstar forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, will be skipping the games this summer to give his hand and finger a chance to heal.
During this year with the Spurs, Aldridge went for 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3% from the field. The Spurs had finished 67-15 before the Oklahoma City Thunder shocked them in the second round of the playoffs, winning the series 4-2.
The decision was confirmed by R.J. Buford, San Antonio’s general manager, to the Associated Press. He also said that the organization “will always support a player’s decision when it comes to participation with his national team.”
Aldridge and Curry are the latest to pull out because of injuries, joining guys like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Anthony Davis. Additionally, Thompson noted in his article that the Zika virus has Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook contemplating withdrawal; Pau Gasol is also considering not playing because of the outbreak. Although a few stars are wary of competing because of Zika, no one has officially pulled out because of the virus.
Even without studs like Curry and Aldridge, the USA team is far from strapped for talent, and would still have a bevy of superstars being considered for the squad: Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Klay Thompson. Take into consideration the amount of all-star level players complimenting the superstars, and the U.S. should be a heavy favorite once the Olympics kick off on August 5.