Team USA's FIBA World Cup run had dwindled to 13 players a week ago after De'Aaron Fox withdrew from consideration to focus on the upcoming NBA season. Gregg Popovich didn't even need to make a single cut for the final 12-man roster: Kyle Kuzma is now out with a left ankle injury.
Due to that injury, Kuzma did not play on Saturday when the U.S. had their 78-game winning streak snapped in a 98-94 loss to Australia.
Kuzma tweeted out that the development was a bummer, but he also said that he's not too worried about Team USA's tournament prospects...with or without him:
Gregg Popovich also commented on the team's most recent exit. "It’s a huge disappointment, because [Kuzma] was a young, energetic guy who was really learning and could play a lot of positions for us," Popovich said. "Mostly, I feel badly for him, because he missed play, and this holds him back a little bit for the season also. So, hopefully, he’ll heal quickly. But, he was wonderful while he was here, and we do miss him.”
The combination of voluntary opt-outs and injuries has made things easy for Team USA, at least when it comes to selecting personnel. Their completed-for-them roster breaks down as follows: Sacramento's Harrison Barnes; Boston's Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart; Brooklyn's Joe Harris; Milwaukee's Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton; Utah's Donovan Mitchell; Denver's Mason Plumlee; Indiana's Myles Turner; and San Antonio's Derrick White.
The World Cup is set to begin in Shanghai on Aug. 31. If the U.S. wins it all, which appears on paper to be a more uphill battle than usual for them, they'd be the first country to three-peat in the event's 69-year run.