Harden won't play at FIBA World Cup
David Ramos / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Team USA has lost another star before the start of its FIBA World Cup title defense.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden informed head coach Gregg Popovich that he won't be with USA Basketball this summer as he prepares for the upcoming NBA season, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Harden was initially named to Team USA's 20-player pool in June.

The 29-year-old was a member of the United States' gold-medal winning squad at the 2012 Olympics and captained the 2014 World Cup team to the championship. Harden also received consideration for the Americans' final roster for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games before withdrawing.

The seven-time All-Star is coming off one of the most historic scoring seasons in recent NBA history. He averaged a career-high 36.1 points on 44.2 percent shooting during 2018-19, including a 32-game stretch of scoring 30 points or more.

For his efforts, Harden was unanimously selected to his fifth All-NBA first team and finished second to Giannis Antetokounmpo in MVP voting.

Fellow American Anthony Davis has also removed his name from consideration for Team USA, while Australia and Canada will be without Ben Simmons and Tristan Thompson, respectively.

The United States is the defending world champion and is seeking its sixth title overall. The top two countries from the Americas region at the 2019 FIBA World Cup will earn automatic berths for the 2020 Olympics.

Team USA is set to begin training camp in early August and the tournament will run from Aug. 31 until Sept. 15. Most NBA teams are scheduled to begin training camp on Sept. 30.

Harden won't play at FIBA World Cup
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