Gregg Popovich is tired of talking about who didn't play for Team USA.
One of the most widely discussed issues leading up to the FIBA World Cup was the number of NBA stars who withdrew from roster consideration. It was once again a hot topic following the Americans' upset loss to France in Wednesday's quarterfinal.
However, when guard Donovan Mitchell was asked about those players who chose not to attend, Popovich interjected to offer his own assessment.
"You know if I could add, I think it's also a disrespectful notion to even bring something like that up, that, 'Hey you guys didn't even have this guy and that guy,'" Popovich told reporters after Wednesday's loss. "That's disrespectful to France or whoever else is in the tournament. France beat us. Doesn't matter who was on the team.
"I couldn't be more proud of these 12 guys who sacrificed their summer to come here having never played together before. And they put themselves in the arena and competed and they deserve credit for that, just like France deserves credit for winning. It's not about, 'Well the United States didn't have their other guys.' There's no such things as other guys. These are the guys that were here, and they did a great job and I'm very proud of them."
Mitchell, who scored a game-high 29 points in Wednesday's loss, isn't sweating over those who chose not to participate.
"If they don't want to come that's on them," Mitchell said, according to Jeff Garcia of News 4 San Antonio. "We have 12 guys - 11 other guys that want to compete. We had guys that didn't make it in, and they want to compete, too."
Team USA can still finish as high as fifth in the tournament if it wins its next two classification games, beginning with a matchup Thursday against fellow eliminated heavyweight Serbia. The U.S. is already expected to be shorthanded, however, as Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has reportedly been shut down for the rest of the tournament due to hand and leg injuries.