Giannis to Sit Out of Eurobasket 2017


Giannis Antetokounmpo has recently ruled himself out for Eurobasket 2017. The 22-year-old “Greek Freak” had been training with the national team, preparing for the tournament, but said he felt pain in his knee that he had been trying to play through.

After meeting with Milwaukee Bucks medical personnel in China, Antetokounmpo came to the realization that he must allow himself time to heal. Giannis released the following statement explaining the sincerity of the decision for him:

“I want everyone to be informed by me that I will not be able to play for the Greek national team in the upcoming Eurobasket. All this time I was pressuring myself to practice. I was trying to fool myself and not feel the pain, hoping that I will be ready for the official games. My will affected my judgement, but in the tests I took here in China with the Bucks personnel, it was time for the truth.

I failed in the tests I was put to and the reason was the pain I felt from the first seconds. I can accept the truth and deal with it in a mature manner. I have to work and improve as much as I can the condition of my knee.

Last summer I had the option to “freeze” the deal for my contract extension. This year I have no choice. I am injured, I feel pain and I must heal.

This is by far the biggest disappointment that I have felt until now in my career. I want to wish the best from the bottom of my heart to my teammates and coaches. The national team is my favorite team and in the future, I will prove together with my teammates that we can achieve high goals and make all Greeks happy.

However, for now, the present is the priority. I urge the fans to not give bigger proportions to my absence and to concentrate on the players who will fight in the upcoming Eurobasket for a success that has been missing for years. History is written by those who are present and I have with great sorrow to accept and announce that I will be absent”.

The Greek National team won their first game without Giannis, defeating Great Britain 88-84. Georgios Papagiannis of the Sacramento Kings scored 11 points for Greece, while NBA veteran and University of Florida alum Nick Calathes contributed 9 points and 7 assists.

Coach Missas was understandably disappointed by the absence of his team’s best player, saying they expected Giannis to play. The Greek Federation has gone as far as to accuse the Bucks and the NBA of a well executed plot to keep Giannis out of Eurobasket. Antetokounmpo was in China for a promotional event with the NBA when he was medically evaluated by the Bucks.

Truthfully, the decision was always up to Giannis to make. He wanted to play and had been training to play, but knew the pain in his knee required attention. Thankfully, he will be able to receive the medical support necessary to recover and be ready for the NBA season. With Jabari Parker already out for at least half the season recovering from a second knee injury, Bucks fans will be collectively holding their breath waiting for news on the Greek Freak’s progress as the season nears.

About Preston Dubey

Lifelong basketball fanatic and Bucks' supporter I coach basketball; but I eat, sleep, and breathe the game.

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