He knows his decision will seem perplexing. He knows some Trail Blazers fans will be upset. He knows there will be animosity and debate on internet message boards and talk radio.

Yes, Nicolas Batum knows all of that.

But he also knows his country needs him.

So Batum has decided to play for the French National Team this summer, when it will try to defend its EuroBasket Championship on native soil in August. The move will be surprising to some, considering the Blazers' small forward acknowledged last month that he has felt "fatigue" this NBA season, in part, because he overextended himself last summer. But, despite this fatigue -- which no doubt led to his subpar season -- there was never really a doubt that Batum would play internationally in 2015.

"I have to fight for my country," he said.