The Dallas Mavericks have several players playing for their home country this offseason in FIBA World Cup play. Luka Doncic is playing for Slovenia, Dwight Powell is playing for Canada, Josh Green and Dante Exum for Australia, and so on.
Right now, the guys on the Mavericks' roster are getting ready for the upcoming season, where those guys are trying to win gold for their country. Only some people like to play FIBA basketball because it is in the offseason, which is one of the only times these guys get to rest.
New Dallas Mavericks superstar point guard Kyrie Irving decided he didn't want to. Irving last did in 2016, when Team USA won gold. However, he didn't even want to be on the team, which sounds crazy, right?
"I consider myself an international player even though I played on Team USA," Irving said on a recent Twitch stream. "A lot of my peers laugh at me when I bring it up, and some fans may not agree, but I was born in Australia. Team USA asked me to play for them when I was 17 or 18 ... I wanted to play for Australia, but it just didn't happen. Coach K wasn't going to let that happen either."
What he means by that last part is that coach Mike Krzyzewski, his college coach at Duke University, was the coach for Team USA then. So, Coach K wants Irving to play for the USA, even though he should technically be playing for Team Australia.
Irving is from Australia; he was born there, but why would he have wanted to play for the team if they didn't finish as well as Team USA?
That year, in 2016, Irving finished with an Olympic gold medal and was one of the main guys on the team, if not the main guy. He and Carmelo Anthony were going to work against other countries every day. No one could stop Irving, and certainly not Australia.
Australia finished fourth that year, behind USA, Serbia, and Spain. Even though they had a talented roster, there was no stopping Team USA.
The Mavericks signed Irving to a three-year extension this summer, and hopefully he and Luka Doncic can help the Mavs return to the playoffs next season. We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Mavs, so stay tuned.