Yesterday, while writing about Mfiondu Kabengele’s not playing for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup, I mentioned that Moe Harkless was the last Clippers player who might still be appearing in international basketball this summer. Alas, after doing a bit of research, it seems that Harkless is not on Puerto Rico’s roster for the World Cup either. It’s possible he could still be added or that the information is not fully updated, but several different sources didn’t mention him, so it looks fairly definitive.
Ultimately, this probably doesn’t mean much. Harkless hasn’t played a lot of international basketball, so I don’t think this is injury related. He didn’t play in the World Cup back in 2014 because he was preparing for the upcoming NBA season with the Orlando Magic, and is presumably following the same reasoning here.
What this does mean is that as of right now, no Clippers players will be participating in FIBA World Cup games this summer. While the tournament only lasts a couple weeks, and any Clippers’ players who might have participated wouldn’t have been guaranteed to get playing time or be in televised games anyway, this is still somewhat disappointing. It would have been fun for fans to follow along with Clippers players to see how they were performing, and tune in to see if any new skills or abilities might be flashed in FIBA play that could translate to the 2019-2020 season. Alas, the Clippers appear to all be staying home this summer, so our first sight of them in action won’t be until training camp in late September.
Hopefully this means that the Clippers players are working hard with team trainers (and with each other) to prepare for the upcoming, grueling NBA season. The Clips have championship aspirations this year, and will need all hands on deck to arrive at that glorious destination. If that means no Clippers fan interest in FIBA ball this summer, so be it.