2016 Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics 2016: Jimmy Butler very willing to join Team USA; 13 players out due to injury and Zika concerns?

Photo courtesy: Jim Larrison/Flickr.com

Chicago Bulls star guard Jimmy Butler expressed his strong desire to be part of Team USA and play in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Janeiro, Brazil on August.

The 26-year old guard said that he is very willing to be part of the team once he is included in the final cut. Jimmy Butler did not change his mind despite other players having pulled out from joining the team.

“Those guys are some high-level athletes, some guys that can really play,” Butler told ESPN.com in mid-May. “But I’ve never backed down from anybody, I won’t now. I think it would be an honor to play alongside those guys and represent this country.”

Jimmy Butler is included in the 31 finalists to be part of the Team USA roster. However, six players are already removed from the list due to injury. These include LaMarcus Aldridge (hand, finger injuries), Stephen Curry (ankle, knee injuries), Anthony Davis (shoulder, knee injuries), Blake Griffin (quad injury), Chris Paul (hand injury), and John Wall (knee injury). Mike Conley, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, is still questionable in joining the roster making the finalist down to 25.

On the other hand, there are players who are still undecided due to Zika Virus concerns. These include LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Paul George, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard. According to a previous report, Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol first expressed his intention to skip the Rio Olympics due to Zika Virus concerns and warned the athletes that they should consider their health and the health of their families.

With this, there is a higher possibility that Jimmy Butler will make the final cut. Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said that they prefer to choose players with defensive prowess. Also, Butler’s ability to play the guard and forward position can be a huge factor on why he should be included in the Team USA 12-man roster.

Photo courtesy: Jim Larrison/Flickr.com

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