Rockets James Harden won’t play in Rio Olympics

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HOUSTON, TX -  Houston Rockets guard James Harden is bowing out from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Why did "The Beard" decided not to represent the red, white, and blue this year?

Harden did not give a specific reason for the dropout. In a statement released by the Houston Rockets he says "the decision was a painstaking one that I did not take lightly."

The original 31 player roster is down by seven with Harden's announcement.

According to ESPN, six other players have backed out of the games; this includes Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, and John Wall.

ESPN reports the players dropped out due to injuries, not the latest Zika concerns.

The Brazilian health minister, Ricardo Barros, says a Cambridge study shows "of the 500 thousand foreign tourists that will come, only 1 will get the Zika virus, so it's almost a zero risk".

Although we won't see Harden and these other legends ballin' in Rio, we still hope Team USA brings home the gold!