Team USA players: Zika fears weren't enough to skip Rio Games

ByMike Mazzeo ESPN logo
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NEW YORK -- In advance of heading to Rio for the 2016 Olympics, members of the U.S. men's national basketball team are not worried about the Zika virus.

"Yeah, I talked to the doctors. I've talked to other doctors that have been over there, my wife dealing with that conversation and the history we're trying to make," New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green also said he investigated the situation.

"I looked into it," Green said. "I was going, regardless. So I didn't have to look into it before I made the decision. My mind was made when I committed and said I wanted to be part of this. My decision was made and there was nothing changing that. I have looked into it, obviously, and do what I can do to help myself."

Since the Olympics are continuing to go on as planned,Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozansays he believes athletes and spectators won't be at risk.

"I mean, if it was that big an issue I'm pretty sure they would've cancelled stuff," DeRozan said. "It's just not us going over there; there's a wide range of people that are going over there, and I looked at it like if it was that big a concern, things would've been cancelled or moved around."

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to severe birth defects in infants born to women infected with Zika. While doctors are still learning about the virus, studies have shown Zika can also be transmitted sexually.

Spanish national team player Pau Gasol carefully weighed the risks before he ultimately signed up to play in Rio.

"My commitment to the national team is greater than my fears over what might happen," Gasol wrote Saturday in the Spanish newspaper Marca.

Irish golferRory McIlroyis perhaps the highest-profile athlete to bow out of Olympic competition due to Zika fears.

"Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take," McIlroy said last week.