In spite of what will be the worst finish by a USA basketball team in decades, Harrison Barnes said he does not see any regret in playing in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Sacramento Kings forward finished with a team-high 22 points in a 94-89 loss to Serbia in the 5th-8th classification phase, as the United States was further relegated to the battle for 7th and 8th spots against Poland.
But Barnes reflected on being able to play competitive basketball over the summer, an experience he says the team members will cherish.
“It’s really not that bad. I’m a hooper at heart so for me to be able to play comeptitive basketball over the summer, this is something I would do on a heartbeat,” said Barnes, adding that the opportunity to represent the country “doesn’t always come around.”
“You always have to savor the opporotunties and jump on those when the opportunity is there. It’s an honor.”
This year’s World Cup isn’t the 1st time Barnes suited up for the red, white, and blue, as he was part of the 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning roster.
Although he won’t be able to replicate the finish this time, Barnes emphasized that representing the team has its fair share of different outcomes, and the 6-foot-8 forward prepared for that.
“That’s the beauty of competition. When we signed up August 5th, 6th, whenever that was, we signed that pact that we are going to be whatever we could to win basketball games, go out and win a gold medal,” he said.
“On the flip side of that, there’s a chance that we might not win. There’s no regrets from our group in terms of what we’ve given, what we’ve sacrificed, the commitment we’ve given being away from our families, teams, organizations.”
Barnes added he and his teammates have to play one last game well, as they would never know when the next opportunity comes that they’ll be wearing a jersey with U-S-A on their chests.
“For us, we got to sit with that. No one has regrets and on Saturday, we have that opportunity again to go out there and represent our coutnry. For some of us, potentially of us, it could be the last time we wear a USA jersey, all of us, or the beginning of many, so we just try to savor that opportunity,” concluded Barnes.