Although the Serbian national team will have NBA MVP Nikola Jokic back amongst its ranks, for other Serbian NBA players they will have to be spectators.
Aleksei Pokusevski of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Nikola Jovic of the Miami Heat will not take part in the EuroBasket nor the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers, as their respective NBA did not give them the green light to participate.
Serbian national team head coach Svetislav Pesic had this to say about the status of Pokusevski and Jovic:
“For [Aleksej] Pokusevski and [Nikola] Jovic, we did not get permission from their teams. The teams want the players to work there and get ready for the new season.”
In addition to being without Pokusevski and Jovic, the team is with out Balsa Koprivica and Borisa Simanic are dealing with illness but Pesic said ”we will get them in the next couple of days.”
Right knee surgery at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season will keep Bogdan Bojanovic from participating, as his focus is recovering in time for the start of the 2022-23 NBA season.
Serbia will take on the Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands, and Israel in Group D plat from September 2-8. The top four will move on to the Round of 16 in Berlin.
The Serbian team will also take part in two World Cup Qualifiers, hosting Greece on August 25 and then traveling to take on Turkey August 28. Serbia is starting behind the proverbial eight ball, coming into the qualifiers with a 1-3 record and will need victories to secure a spot in the World Cup.