Los Angeles Clippers’ Nicolas Batum will not represent France at this summer’s EuroBasket.
Batum, who won EuroBasket gold back in 2013, has opted to focus on next season with the Clippers instead.
And with stars such as Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back and healthy for next season and with reliable role players like Batum at the helm, the Clippers could make some noise in the Western Conference.
Batum joins Nando De Colo as absentees for this summer’s EuroBasket, which tips on September 1-18.
“I think Nando and I are grandpas there”, Batum, 33, said.
“There, between the sequences of seasons, the Olympics last year… This year, I struggled physically and I know that there is a huge season ahead of me with the Clippers next year because we are going to play to get to the end. This may be my only chance where I have the opportunity to be able to do that.”
Batum has played for France 155 times over his career. Along with EuroBasket glory in 2013, he has captured two World Cup bronze medals, in 2014 and 2019.
France will be housed in Cologne in what some are calling “the group of death” as they face hosts, Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina and holders, Slovenia in Group B.