When Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry announced that he would skip the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he did not mention the Zika virus. The Bay Area News Group’s Marcus Thompson reported that, while Curry was “concerned about Zika,” the decision was about resting his knee. Curry essentially confirmed this on Tuesday.
“I followed the reports and kind of got educated on that, but at the end of the day, that didn’t have a bearing on my decision,” Curry said. “It was assessing my body and knowing, one, what it was going to take for me to finish this playoff run and considering the injuries I’ve had in the last few weeks in the playoffs. And the short time frame in between the Finals and Team USA training camp and then the time frame after that for me, personally, was going to be a lot to get my body ready for another year coming up. So that was my decision. I knew obviously the developments and kind of understanding the problem of the Zika virus, but it had no bearing on my decision.”
Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson said that, while “it’s a little concerning” and “mosquitos love me,” the worries about Zika will not deter him from playing for his country this summer. Other NBA players have expressed similar sentiments, but there is no denying that this has become a subject of discussion. Spain’s Pau Gasol has already said he’s thinking about skipping the Olympics and other athletes should, too.
If a few high-profile players declare that they are sitting out because of Zika, others could very well follow them. It is unclear whether or not that will happen, but had it started with Curry, it would have been huge news and it could have been bad news for USA Basketball’s roster.