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After having to go through three surgeries on his right knee over the past 15 months, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has decided to forgo playing for USA Basketball in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Westbrook, who injured the knee in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, missed 36 games last season. During the last several months of the regular season and the playoffs, his minutes were limited in order to prevent more damage to the knee, reports Royce Young of ESPN.com.
Westbrook won gold with Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Cup in Turkey and at the 2012 London Olympics. This year’s tournament will be hosted by Spain, the country in which Team USA earned the name “The Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics.
This summer, Team USA begins training camp in July. In August, the team will play on an exhibition tour before finally participating in the tournament in September.
Some potential replacements for Westbrook include: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), according to Yahoo Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, who was the first to break the story.
Curry is a lethal scorer with great range. Lillard and Irving have both won the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
image courtesy of Wolf/INFphoto.com