Greece’s hopes of making a run in the 2023 FIBA World Cup took a gigantic hit on Friday morning. The country’s superstar forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, announced on his Twitter account that he won’t be able to participate in the tournament after consulting with Greece’s medical staff.
Everyone knows my passion and love for my National Team has and never will change. Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set.
But after months of work and multiple… pic.twitter.com/1uhTlfNZVE
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 11, 2023
As Antetokounmpo explained, he’s been pushing himself since the end of the NBA postseason to get his body right with an eye on representing his country in the tournament — the two-time NBA MVP got a procedure on his knee in June. His status for the tournament was up in the air, and in his post, Antetokounmpo explained that he just was not ready to get healthy in time.
“But after months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff it is clear that i am not ready to compete in the level that I need to be to participate in the World Cup,” he wrote. “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. I am extremely disappointed in this outcome but this was a decision made with the medical staff.”
Antetokounmpo expressed his hope that Greece is able to qualify for the Olympics next summer. Now, Antetokounmpo will watch as Greece attempts to navigate a tricky group at the World Cup, as the team was drawn into Group C against Jordan, New Zealand, and the United States.