While there are a lot of great players who are representing their countries in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, several important players can’t make out.
Of course, for whatever reason, it’s not exactly uncommon for American stars like LeBron James to skip out on FIBA World Cup action. During the last tournament, only four Americans who made the NBA All-Star team were on the roster.
But it is a bit more unusual for an international star to not suit up during the tournament, so we decided to look at the most notable players who aren’t able to make it.
Players like Australia’s Ben Simmons (who hasn’t played for his national team in over a decade) were excluded from this list.
Joel Embiid, who has citizenship in France and the United States as well as Cameroon, was also not included because he has not played on the FIBA circuit.
Meanwhile, here are the other players who won’t be rostered when the tournament begins on August 25.
NATIONAL TEAM: Serbia
“With Jokic, we had several conversations, and I must say they were some of the best conversations I’ve had with players who couldn’t make it to the roster,” Pesic said, according to MozzartSport. “He’s physically and mentally exhausted, not feeling ready to take responsibility at the moment.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Greece
Antetokounmpo made the announcement on his own (via Twitter):
“Everyone knows my passion and love for my National Team has and never will change. Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set. But after months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff it is clear that i am not ready to compete in the level that I need to be to participate in the World Cup. This was not a choice but my only option in ensuring I get back to the level of basketball I have worked so hard to achieve so far in my career. I am extremely disappointed in this outcome but this was a decision made with the medical staff. I’m going to continue to push myself to be ready for the next time my name is called. My personal, and our ultimate team goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics games and it will be an honor to represent my National Team next year.”
NATIONAL TEAM: France
After a long summer, Wembanyama will skip the World Cup (via AP):
“I’ve decided to dedicate this summer to preparing my body for the many events awaiting it in the coming years,” he said. “This meant skipping the World Cup. It was a difficult decision, and one that required the advice of many people. But I sincerely believe it’s the best one for the French team and myself.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Canada
After winning his first NBA championship, Denver’s Jamal Murray is opting to sit out of the FIBA World Cup. Here is more (via basketball.ca):
“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for the World Cup,” said Murray.
“In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament. It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Latvia
Porzingis is dealing with an injury and cannot suit up, he announced (translated via Twitter):
“It is difficult, I feel very responsible to myself and the supporters of the Latvian national team, but a decision has been made that I will not play in the World Cup.
After several weeks of recovery and a repeat MRI examination, the plantar fasciitis of my foot still prevents me from being on the field in full readiness.
This joint decision has been made by both the medical staff and coaching staff of the national team, as well as the Celtics team – with the advice and opinion that it is now necessary to continue the recovery process.
Such a decision is not easy to make, but I promise that I will be there and support the team as much as I can.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Lithuania
Lithuanian national team head coach Kazys Maksvytis spoke about why Kings big man Domantas Sabonis will not participate in the FIBA World Cup (via BasketNews.com):
“The main reasons behind Domantas availability this summer was his contract and health,” Maksvytis said in a press conference. “He apologized for not coming and promised to be available next summer.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Japan
Earlier this summer, Lakers forward Rui Hachimura announced he will skip out on the FIBA World Cup (via Olympics.com):
“I have decided to skip this year’s FIBA World Cup. All apologies for the disappointing news to the fans who were looking forward to the World Cup,” Hachimura said in a statement via the JBA.
“It was a very difficult decision but after the season and a long playoffs, and with my first free agency ahead of me, I made this decision in the best interests of my future NBA career. This summer, I hope to focus on the training and getting my body ready for next season.
“I want to thank everyone at the JBA and coach Tom Hovasse for their understanding. I really appreciate it. I wish the team nothing but success and will be their biggest fan.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Serbia
NBA veteran Goran Dragic is moving on from his duties as captain of the Serbian national team and Luka Doncic will take over the responsibilities (via BasketNews.com):
“I’ll be at home,” Dragic told Bojan Brezovac from MozzartSport. “I’m not going to play. I had enough. I played for 16 years [for the national team], plus the NBA and everything else.
NATIONAL TEAM: Spain
After decades of playing for the Spanish national team, 2019 World Cup MVP Ricky Rubio has decided to focus on his mental health:
“I have decided to stop my professional activity to take care of my mental health. I want to thank all the support I have received from the (Spanish national) team to understand my decision,” Rubio said in a statement released by the Spanish Basketball Federation on Saturday. “Today #family makes more sense than ever. Thank you. I would ask that my privacy be respected so that I can face these moments and be able to give more information when the time is right.”
NATIONAL TEAM: Puerto Rico
“The national team said the Pelicans didn’t allow Alvarado to participate because of the stress reaction he had in his tibia that cost him the end of the 2022-23 regular season.
Former NBA guard Carlos Arroyo, who serves as the general manager for the Puerto Rican national team, said an MRI performed last week revealed that the injury hasn’t fully healed.”