Great Britain and Greece fans won’t see Giannis Antetokounmpo in London as he is on a promotional tour of China. Now the fans attending Eurobasket will not see him either.
The Milwaukee Bucks forward took to Facebook to admit defeat on his continuous knee injury as the medical team in China advised him not to represent Greece this summer.
“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,” he wrote.
“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 so far 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 the Greeks happy.
However, for now the present is the priority. I urge the fans to not give bigger proportions to my absense than the real ones 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.”