While the controversy over the real reasons behind NBAer Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s decision to stay away from the national team during the Eurobasket tournament still rages, the Greek team national coach stands by his player.
Speaking on “To Vima” news weekly, Kostas Missas gave more details about the health condition of the “Greek freak“, which is the alleged reason he will stay out of the Eurobasket tournament.
“The story with Giannis is crystal clear”, said Missas. “Giannis wanted to play. That was his goal from the get-go, despite the condition of his knee, which wouldn’t cause him any major issue. From day one, he was under great pressure from the [Milwaukee] Bucks, but he tried his best, giving 100% in every practice. The final decision has to do with him failing in the Bucks’ test. And that’s the end of discussion”.
Still, the Greek coach implies that the pressure from the Bucks was bigger than expected. “When I talked with the GM of the Bucks and asked him if he was aware of Giannis’ condition after the events in which he participated during the summer, he didn’t say anything. Nothing at all. Also a point of infringement is that the Bucks medical team should have come to Athens to evaluate the player’s condition.”
According to Missas, if Giannis was 100% healthy, he would play in the tournament: “After the first stage of our training camp, the other players of the team were informed about the situation with Giannis, his health and his upcoming trip to China. I should also add that last year Giannis put his deal with the Bucks on hold, in order to play in the Olympic qualifying tournament. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but we can’t forget that Giannis is still a 22-year-old kid. To put an end to the issue, I believe that if Giannis was healthy and the Bucks asked him not to play, he would play”.