(CBS/AP) Bulls center Joakim Noah is unlikely to play for France at the European Championship in September.
Hampered all season long after surgery on his left knee last May, Noah told the L’Equipe newspaper Wednesday he’s focusing on his NBA career.
“The French team is a great experience, but it has never been my priority,” Noah told the French newspaper.
Noah, 30, has played in 50 of Chicago’s 61 games, averaging 7.9 points and 10.1 rebounds. For much of the season, he’s been on a restriction of 32-to-34 minutes, though he’s eclipsed that sometimes of late with the Bulls hampered by injuries and Noah feeling better.
France technical director Patrick Beesley asked Noah to decide on his availability for the Sept. 5-20 tournament before the end of March, and he’s made clear Noah won’t be selected for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics if he skips the EuroBasket.
Noah’s only appearance with France at a major tournament was at the 2011 EuroBasket.