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James Harden to skip Fiba World Cup to focus on Rockets

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Three

FILE – James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets brings the ball up court in the second quarter during Game Three of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center on May 4, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP

Houston Rockets star James Harden is opting out of the Fiba World Cup in China, the Houston Chronicle reported on Friday.

Harden, speaking at a charity event, told the newspaper he wants to spend the rest of the NBA off-season preparing to play with a new-look Rockets, who acquired Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook in a trade for Chris Paul this month.

Houston’s Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker are currently slated to play for the USA, which will hold a training camp in Las Vegas August 5-9 before the World Cup begins in China on August 31.

Harden’s decision comes days after news broke that Anthony Davis — the former New Orleans Pelicans star who just signed to team with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers — had withdrawn from consideration for the US World Cup team that will be coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

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