Greek basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a message on his social media pages, written in Greek, expressing his regret that he would not be able to play for the Greek national team in the upcoming EuroBasket 2017 (European championships), which begins on Aug. 31, due to a knee injury.
Antetokounmpo’s message surprised his Milwaukee Bucks fans and also came amidst comments from the Greek basketball federation alleging the Bucks and NBA were involved in an “organised and well-staged plan” to keep Antetokounmpo from playing for his national team.
During the lead-up to EuroBasket, Antetokounmpo missed all but one of Greece’s warm-up games due to his ailing knee. This week, Antetokounmpo failed a physical exam administered by the Bucks in China where he is serving as an NBA ambassador, but not playing, in a basketball tournament in Shanghai. He was expected to return to the Greek national team following his appearance to participate in EuroBasket, which will no longer be the case.
The full text of Antetokounmpo’s message included him saying that being unable to play for the Greek national team this summer is “by far the biggest disappointment in my career.”