Speaking on the Greek newspaper “To Vima”, Missas gave more details about the health condition of the Greek freak, which is the reason that keeps him out of the Eurobasket. “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 create him any major issue. From day one, he was under great pressure from the 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”.
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According to Missas, if Giannis was 100% healthy, then he would play in the Eurobasket: “After the first stage of our training camp the other players of the team were informed about the situation with Giannis, his health and the upcoming trip to China. I have also to say that last year Giannis put on hold his deal with the Bucks in order to play in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but we can’t forget that Giannis is also a 22 years old kid. And in order to close the whole issue, I have to say that if Giannis was healthy and the Bucks asked him not to play, he would play”.
But his heart and mind are with his national team comrades. This is why shortly following his return from China, the Milwaukee Bucks point-forward paid a visit to “OAKA” arena, home of the Greek squad’s practices, in order to talk with his teammates and the national team’s coaching staff.
Before departing for Milwaukee, where he will begin treatment for his knee, Giannis will also attend Wednesday’s (23/8) prep game between of Greece against Zaza Pachulia’s Georgia for the “Akropolis International Tournament”.
“Giannis recently left his national team to travel to China for an appearance. Here he was visited by Bucks Head of Strength and Conditioning Suki Hobson. Hobson put Giannis through a series of exercises to evaluate his knee and reported that he was still experiencing significant pain on basic movements. “After reviewing the report filed by Hobson, Dr. Raasch recommended that due to the recurring knee pain, Giannis should not continue to attempt to play at this time and that the best course of action would be for him to return to Milwaukee for further evaluation and to begin a structured, daily rehabilitation program.
That assertion led the NBA to put out a statement on Saturday night refuting any notion that Antetokounmpo’s injury was staged. “The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have followed all appropriate protocol under the NBA-FIBA agreement,” said Tim Frank, the NBA’s senior vice president of basketball communications. “Giannis has an injury that has been confirmed through multiple examinations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
The Bucks took things a step further with a statement that was released early Sunday morning. The statement, which came from general manager Jon Horst, detailed the events that led to Antetokounmpo removing himself from EuroBasket competition. The full statement from Horst is as follows: “After a brief time in training with the Greek National Team, Giannis reported to our basketball staff that he was having right anterior knee pain following certain movements. At this time, we contacted the Greek National Team and requested that Giannis stop on-court running and jumping for a period of time to rest. Bucks Team Physician Dr. William Raasch consulted with Dr. Voulgaropoulos of the Greek National Team regarding the injury and as a result Giannis continued to sit out from training.
Greek Basketball Federation: The simultaneous briefing by the manager of the Milwaukee Bucks and by Giannis Antetokounmpo himself via phone and social media from distant China – and not in the proper formal form – for his inability to play for the Greek national team, brought us sadness due to this great loss, but unfortunately it does not surprise us.
Greek Basketball Federation: A series of clues by which we were particularly worried about since Giannis arrived in Greece and the national team training camp started, had created the conviction of an organized and well-staged plan by the NBA franchise in which Giannis has signed. Everything was in full knowledge of the NBA, if not encouraged by the NBA, and the athlete was put in a very difficult place and ultimately was obliged today to inform that he can’t be a member of the national team.
Emiliano Carchia: OFFICIAL: Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss Eurobasket
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 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. 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. 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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 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.
As the Greek Basketball Federation announced, Giannis Antetokounmpo will refrain from the national team’s practices for the next five days. After feeling a right-knee discomfort, the Milwaukee Bucks point forward underwent an MRI which revealed that there’s nothing serious. Still, Giannis needs to stay out of practices for the aforementioned period.
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November 19, 2017 | 8:03 pm EST Update
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