Stephen Curry has withdrawn from consideration from the Olympics, leaving the US basketball team without the NBA's MVP. Curry said Monday in a statement that he has decided to pull out for "several factors—including recent ankle and knee injuries." He didn't specify what the other factors were that he referenced. Several athletes have expressed concerns about the water situation in Rio and the Zika virus. The guard is the highest-profile absence for the two-time defending gold medalists, who will already be without NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and Anthony Davis, reports the AP. Curry had spoken of wanting the chance to win Olympic gold, but he missed six games in the postseason with a right knee injury.
Curry said he had spoken with his family, the Golden State Warriors (who could still have a strong presence at the Olympics; see here), and his reps and recently informed the USA Basketball chair of his decision. The Americans have a list of 31 players in their roster pool for this summer and plan to name their 12-man roster later this month. Curry, the first player to be voted a unanimous MVP and the league's leading scorer, certainly would have been on it. He could have been the team's biggest star in Rio, with Kobe Bryant retired and LeBron James still uncommitted. But the Mercury News doesn't see Rio as the 28-year-old's last shot, noting "he should still be a top player when the 2020 Olympics roll around." ESPN reports the US is considered a "heavy favorite" in Brazil, having gone 8-0 in both 2008 and 2012.