De’Aaron Fox initially accepted his invite to be part of Team USA. However, Sacramento Kings starting point guard withdrew earlier this month after fellow former Wildcat Bam Adebayo was cut as the roster was trimmed down to 15.
Fox didn’t shed any light on why he left Team USA. However, he did opt to tell TMZ Sports that it wasn’t due to an injury.
“That’s for me to know. I’m completely healthy,” Fox said.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Fox withdrew to focus on the upcoming NBA season. This is extremely interesting as many players have withdrawn over the last few weeks.
Players like Damian Lillard, Zion Williamson, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, James Harden, CJ McCollum have withdrawn or simple not accepted their invite to participate in the FIBA World Cup. Former Wildcat Julius Randle also withdrew his name.
The fact that many of these players started this journey yet won’t finish it is astounding.
Is there a deeper reason?
The team is led by Gregg Popovich, who seems to be favorite of the players, so the coaching most likely isn’t the cause.
With the FIBA World Cup kicking off on August 31, Team USA, while still the obvious favorite, may struggle. After all, their almost 13-year unbeaten streak has already been snapped by a Patty Mills-led Australian team.
That said, maybe Fox is truly preparing himself for the new season, or maybe the 21-year-old saw the writing on the wall from a team unstable and becoming even more thin as the days progress.