The Milwaukee Bucks have recently confirmed that two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokuonmpo underwent a cleanup procedure on his left knee two weeks ago. The player is now in doubt to play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup for the Greek national team.
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin stated that “[Giannis] had a routine surgery on his left knee, and it went great. Everything went as planned, and we expect him back ready to go in training camp”. Despite the optimistic message, Greek fans will be anxious for more definitive news about the star player’s participation in the World Cup, which is due to kick off in August.
Current speculation from NBA sources appears to suggest that Antetokuonmpo might not participate in the tournament. NBA Insider Shams Charnia tweeted, "Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo underwent a cleanup procedure on his knee two weeks ago and is uncertain for Greece’s FIBA World Cup play this summer, sources confirm."
The Bucks’ training camp is scheduled in early September, and some are wondering if Antetokuonmpo will be fit before then. The former NBA champion and Finals MVP missing the tournament will be a massive blow for fans of Greek Basketball. While the national team is relatively strong, Antetokuonmpo is the only active NBA player on the side. He is, in fact, one of only two active NBA players to ever play for Greece in a World Cup, sharing the honour with his brother Thanasis.
The Greek team would sorely miss the brilliant player’s speed, technical ability, strength and ball-carrying skill. Performance in the World Cup is important to Greece as it can potentially lead to qualification for the Olympics, which the Greece national team has never participated in before.