While USA Basketball had its share of withdrawals this summer leading up to the 2019 World Cup, there’s a strong case for Team Canada being the national team hit hardest by a lack of participation from NBA players.
Team Canada formally announced its 12-man World Cup roster today. As expected, the group features just two NBA players: Kings point guard Cory Joseph and Magic center Khem Birch. As we outlined earlier this month, the list of Canadians not participating in the World Cup includes Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett, and several other NBA players.
The national teams for Greece and Turkey also announced their final 12-man rosters for the World Cup, and both squads feature multiple current NBA players.
Bucks teammates – and brothers – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo headline the Greek squad, with former NBA players like Kostas Papanikolaou, Nick Calathes, and Georgios Papagiannis helping to fill out the roster.
On the Turkish national team, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, and Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz are the headliners. Former Celtics and Cavaliers center Semih Erden is also part of Turkey’s 12-man roster.
The World Cup will officially get underway in China on Saturday with an eight-game schedule, though Canada, Greece, and Turkey won’t take the court until Sunday.