Rockets Rumors: Eric Gordon Withdraws from Team USA Camp, FIBA World Cup

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2019

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon has reportedly withdrawn from Team USA training camp and the FIBA World Cup this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Gordon would be following in the footsteps of Rockets teammate James Harden, who told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle on Friday that he removed himself from FIBA World Cup consideration to focus on building a rapport with new Rockets teammate Russell Westbrook.

Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis reportedly also turned down a chance to play in the FIBA World Cup last week, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Over the past three seasons, Gordon has been a highly productive player for the Rockets as a part-time starter.

In 2018-19, he averaged 16.2 points per game and made 3.2 three-pointers per contest while connecting at a 36.0 percent rate from beyond the arc.

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Gordon has made better than three trifectas per game in each of the past three seasons, and he ranks 15th on the active list in career three-pointers made when taking Dirk Nowitzki (retiring) and Joe Johnson (BIG3) out of the equation.

The 2016-17 NBA Sixth Man of the Year would have been a solid addition to Team USA due to his ability to spread the floor and knock down open shots.

He also has some previous national team experience, as he was part of the 2010 FIBA World Championship team for the United States. Team USA went 9-0 and won the gold medal in that tournament, and Gordon ranked second on the squad in three-pointers made (19) and three-point shooting percentage (45.2 percent).

Even with Harden, Davis and Gordon reportedly pulling out of the FIBA World Cup, Team USA should still be stacked with elite talent.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris are among the players expected to make the team.

The Americans are the two-time defending champions in the tournament, and their title defense will begin when the event tips off on Aug. 31 in China.

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