This MVP won’t be heading to Rio after all! Stephen Curry announced on Monday, June 6, that he will not play in the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, citing recent knee and ankle injuries.
“After a great deal of internal thought and several discussions with my family, the Warriors and my representatives, I’ve elected to withdraw my name from the list of eligible players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil,” the Golden State Warriors point guard said in a statement to ESPN.
He continued, “My previous experiences with USA Basketball have been incredibly rewarding, educational and enjoyable, which made this an extremely difficult decision for me and my family. However, due to several factors — including recent ankle and knee injuries — I believe this is the best decision for me at this stage of my career. It’s an incredible honor to represent your country and wear ‘USA’ on your chest, but my primary basketball-related objective this summer needs to focus on my body and getting ready for the 2016-17 NBA season.”
The reigning back-to-back and first-ever unanimous NBA Most Valuable Player, who has never played in the Olympics, missed four games of the Warriors’ current postseason run due to a sprained right knee. He returned to the lineup in early May.
As of June 6, the Warriors are leading the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0. The team is two wins away from clinching its second consecutive championship.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN on Monday, “Since Steph’s recent injuries, I’ve been in contact with him and I was aware that this decision was a strong possibility. … Obviously we are disappointed that Steph will not be available this summer, but we understand these situations arise and we are fully supportive of his decision.”
With just two months to go before the start of the 2016 Olympic Games, several scientists have called for the event to be relocated due to concerns from the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. The World Health Organization previously insisted that “canceling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus.”