Maybe it is the nature of the sport. There are two truly recognised world games on this planet. We call one Soccer, they other is Basketball.
The English Premier league, Serie A in Italy, Bundersleiga in Germany, the Spanish league, South American and other leagues around the world are huge.
They have the best players in them, but it isn't quite like basketball. The NBA dwarfs any league in any country, followed secondly by the Euroleague which is a combination of several countries backed by huge populations and like Soccer in some ways a passion for the game.
There isn't a player out there who would not see playing in the Soccer World Cup as the pinnacle of their career. You make it in the WC and you are the best of the best.
Olympics is a little different, but countries do take it seriously and an Olumpic medal in soccer or basketball is high in the importance stakes for sure.
But it seems that basketball is more NBA centric that Soccer is towards any particular national competition, probably due to the level of talent, the money and the exposure.
If a player like Ben was a soccer star, we wouldn't be asking why wouldn't he play for his country, we would be saying he has to play and surely he will want to play.
My opinion is that he will want to play regardless...