Blazers’ Mario Hezonja jokes he wouldn’t be surprised if Gregg Popovich also withdraws from Team USA
After several NBA stars dropped out from Team USA participation, Portland Trail Blazers newcomer Mario Hezonja can’t help but poke fun at USA Basketball’s situation.
Following the latest withdrawal of Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, Hezonja took it to Twitter to joke that he wouldn’t be surprised if Gregg Popovich, the national team’s head coach, would decide to back out as well.
Wouldn’t be surprised anymore even if Coach Pop withdraws. 😁
— Mario Hezonja (@mariohezonja) August 17, 2019
Team USA has only 13 players left on their roster after Fox withdrew prior to their tuneup game against Australia. Given the lack of options, cutting one and trimming the roster to 12 becomes easier for the national team.
While Hezonja certainly has no bad intention with his joke, it’s worth noting that two of his Blazers teammates also dropped out of participation from the USA Basketball men’s national team. Portland’s backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum opted not to participate as well so they can focus on the upcoming NBA season.
Team USA certainly has their work cut out for them heading to the FIBA World Cup in China. However, there’s no doubt that they remain a talented team even without the top players in the game. Besides, they still have one of the greatest minds in all of basketball in Popovich — who is unlikely to withdraw his commitment from the team.