Earlier this week, it was announced that Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo would not play in Eurobasket for the Greek national team. The decision was met with some controversy as the Greek team has blamed the Bucks and the NBA.
Antetokounmpo posted on social media that he would be missing the tournament due to a knee injury. The Greek Federation has blamed the NBA, according to the Associated Press:
The saga started Saturday about an hour after Antetokounmpo posted on Facebook and Instagram that he was unavailable because of a knee injury. The Greek Federation attacked the Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket at the end of the month.
“The simultaneous report by the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo himself, by phone and social media from faraway China, and not by the appropriate official manner, of his inability to join the national men’s team saddens us … but is not surprising,” the federation said in the statement.
“A series of indications … had convinced us of the existence of an organized and well-staged plan by (Antentokounmpo’s NBA) team, with the full knowledge if not encouragement of the NBA that put the athlete on the spot and forced him to announce today that he is no longer part of the men’s national team.”
The NBA has released the following statement:
“The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have followed all appropriate protocol under the NBA-FIBA agreement,” the NBA said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “Giannis has an injury that has been confirmed through multiple examinations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
The Bucks said Antetokounmpo was training briefly with the Greek national team when he reported to his NBA team that he was experiencing knee pain.