Giannis Says He is Not Ready for the World Cup

11 August, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a great player for the Milwaukee Bucks, said on Friday that he will not represent Greece at the next Basketball World Cup. He and his medical team came to the conclusion that he is not physically prepared to compete.

This summer, Antetokounmpo underwent surgery on his left knee.

The tournament, which begins on August 25 in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan, will feature group-stage matches between Greece and the United States, Jordan, and New Zealand in Manila.

In a statement released on Friday, Antetokounmpo said, “Everyone knows my passion and love for my national team has never changed and never will.” “Since my NBA season ended, I’ve been working hard to be the player I need to be to assist our team accomplish the objectives we’ve set. But it is obvious that I am not prepared to compete at the level I need to be in order to compete in the World Cup after months of effort and numerous discussions with medical staff.

The Bucks coach claims that Antetokounmpo, who underwent knee surgery this offseason and should be ready for training camp, missed 19 regular-season games for the Bucks last season, 11 of which he missed due to left knee pain. According to the Bucks, the clean-up procedure on his knee went well, and they anticipate that he will be prepared for training camp, which begins in around seven weeks.

The star power of this World Cup will suffer even more from his absence. The only All-NBA players scheduled to participate in the competition are Slovenia’s Luka Doncic of Dallas and Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City.

Seven-time All-Star and two-time NBA MVP Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the 2021 NBA championship. In the previous season, he had a 31.1 point and 11.8 rebound average.

At the 2024 Paris Olympics, he stated that he wants to play for Greece.

“This was not a choice but my only option in ensuring I get back to the level of basketball I have worked so hard to achieve so far in my career.” Antetokounmpo said. “I am extremely disappointed in this outcome but this was a decision made with the medical staff. I’m going to continue to push myself to be ready for the next time my name is called.”

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