By Antigoni Zachari / email@example.com
French national team captain Nicolas Batum announced he is skipping the 2022 EuroBasket in a recent interview with First Team.
The LA Clippers forward and silver-medalist in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is the second marquee name that won’t be joining Les Bleus in September. Nando De Colo confirmed back in March that he will also be missing for the French NT.
Batum has decided to shift his focus on the Clippers next season, so he needs time during the offseason to prepare physically, as he explains. The Clippers count on having stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back on board healthy for the 2022-23 campaign, which can make them strong candidates for the title.
“I think Nando and I are grandpas there”, tells 33-year-old Batum. “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 counts 155 participations with the French NT. He was part of the team that won gold at the 2013 EuroBasket in Slovenia, while he has also led France to two bronze medals at the 2014 and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Photo credit: FIBA