The NBA, in response to an accusation from the Greek basketball federation, says it had nothing to do with Giannis Antetokounmpo not playing in the Eurobasket tournament.
NBA denies Greek basketball federation claim of a plot to keep Giannis from playing in Eurobasket. Statement: pic.twitter.com/bPF526buCW
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 20, 2017
The Greek Freak says he is suffering from a knee injury.
The All-Star forward’s new four-year, $100 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks begins in September.
Per the AP:
“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.”
However, the NBA countered Saturday night with a statement saying Antetokounmpo is indeed hurt.
“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.”
He was to have rejoined Greece after his China tour to prepare for the Eurobasket starting on Aug. 31, but his knee problems, which forced him to miss all but one of Greece’s warmup games, alarmed the Bucks, who administered the physical in China.