Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal has pulled out of playing with Team USA in the World Cup this summer, agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.
Beal is expecting his second son during World Cup preparation and competition, which led to the decision. He is the fifth player to withdraw from the team in the past two weeks, joining Anthony Davis, James Harden, Eric Gordon and CJ McCollum as the team’s guard ranks have taken a significant blow.
Bartelstein said Beal had been mulling the decision for weeks and it was gut-wrenching because he’d been competing with USA Basketball since he was in high school.
The event runs from Sept. 1-15 but Team USA is spending a week in Australia playing exhibition games before going to Asia. The change in the World Cup schedule – it now will be competed the year before the Olympics – and pushing it later in the calendar and closer to the season seems to be a factor for players deciding to play.
Additionally, the NBA has increased the number of teams going overseas to start the season. Davis is scheduled to travel to China with the Los Angeles Lakers in October and Harden is scheduled to go to Japan with the Houston Rockets in the preseason as well.