After teaming up with Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and others to help France claim the 2013 Eurobasket championship in September plenty of French fans had high expectations for Alexis Ajinca in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Unfortunately for those fans those high hopes were dashed a few days ago when Ajinca announced via his Facebook page that he would in fact not be playing with the French National Team during the World Cup for personal reasons.
Bonjour a tous, après en avoir discuté avec Vincent Collet et avoir mûrement réfléchi, j’ai pris la décision de ne pas participer au championnat du monde avec l’équipe de France . Cela ne fut pas une décision facile, mais Ma femme attend un enfant dont le terme de la grossesse coïncide avec le championnat du monde . Malgré mon envie d y participer ma priorité reste ma famille et je tiens a rester présent auprès de ma femme pour ce moment capital. J’ ai hâte de vous retrouver avec le maillot de l équipe de France des l année prochaine.
Merci de votre soutien, Alexis AJINCA
The (Google) translated version is below:
Hello everyone, after discussion with Vincent Collet and careful consideration, I have decided not to participate in the world championship with Team France. This was not an easy decision, but my wife is expecting a child whose term of pregnancy coincides with the world championship. Despite my desire to participate my priority is my family and I want to stay present with my wife for this momentous occasion. I look forward to seeing you with the jersey of the team of France the next year. Thank you for your support, Alexis Ajinca.
Obviously no one can fault Ajinca for his decision as despite what some fans think family still comes first for professional athletes. It is a tough blow for the French as Ajinca gave them a fighting chance in the World Cup with his size after he averaged 9.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 0.8 assists per game during the Eurobasket tournament.
Unfortunately the way things have played out has caused a bit of distention between Ajinca and the leaders of the French Basketball organization. According to Sports.fr report (again I translated it), the higher-ups in France seem to be upset with Ajinca’s decision and the way they say he announced it via social media.
That led to Ajinca’s post on Twitter this afternoon which apparently is his attempt to clear up the misunderstanding by saying he told the French management in advance and he is sorry there is some hurt feelings but family has to come first.
— Alexis Ajinça (@AjincaAlexis42) July 21, 2014
It is hard to imagine that anyone in France stays mad at Ajinca long but it may be something worth watching going forward if you are interested in FIBA basketball.