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GRE - Fotis fury over Koufos withdrawal
ATHENS (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Fotis Katsikaris has endured his share of frustration the past couple of years as a coach and that has continued now that he's at the helm of Greece's national team.
Expecting Memphis Grizzlies center Kostas Koufos to play an important role with the national side at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, the NBA player's agent has informed Katsikaris that the 2.13m pivot is not going to be available for national team duty.
Koufos' withdrawal just four days before the start of the preparations was not only bad timing, but also a waste of time and money.
Greece's federation had already purchased his airline tickets.
The Greeks moved quickly, adding veteran center Andreas Glyniadakis to the preliminary squad.
Glyniadakis last represented Greece at EuroBasket 2009 and contributed to a bronze-medal success.
Katsikaris expressed his irritation over the 25-year-old Koufos' absence in a statement by the Greece Basketball Federation.
"I've learned to speak frankly with my players and I expect the same from them…," he said, "... The player does not deserve to be in the national team."
Katsikaris will still have a very talented side at the World Cup with his squad expected to advance from Group B, with Argentina, Croatia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Senegal the opponents in Sevilla.
Twenty-four teams will compete at the World Cup, which tips off on 30 August.