Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the NBA's bright young stars. He's also the star player of the Greece National team.
Unfortunately, Antetokounmpo will not be able to play with Greece this summer like he wanted. He announced on Facebook that he would be sitting out Eurobasket 2017 due to a knee injury that's so painful he's no longer able to play through it.
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 absense 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.
This is a major disappointment for Greece, which is looking for its first Eurobasket gold since 2005. However, the Bucks have playoff hopes and if he's battling a knee injury then they can't clear him. With the season two months away it's in Milwaukee's best interest he uses his time off to heal. Greece, however, is obviously unhappy with the Bucks' decision.
Greek Federation criticized the Bucks for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence at Eurobasket: "Organized and well-planned project by the Bucks"— Sportando (@Sportando) August 19, 2017
It's clear Antetokounmpo wants to play in Eurobasket, but the Bucks have the final call on this one.