NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo drops out of FIBA World Cup to continue recovery from knee surgery

Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is not going to characterize his native nation Greece at this 12 months’s FIBA Basketball World Cup match, which suggestions off later this month.

The Milwaukee Bucks star had minor surgical procedure on his left knee earlier this summer time. On Friday, he revealed that he wouldn’t have the ability to play within the World Cup given the state of his bodily situation. 

Antetokounmpo, who was born in Athens, stated that his medical group additionally suggested him to not compete. The Greek nationwide basketball group is scheduled to play the U.S., Jordan and New Zealand in group-stage video games in Manila, Philippines, within the match, which begins Aug. 25 within the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.


Giannis Antetokounmpo on the bench

Milwaukee Bucks ahead Giannis Antetokounmpo sits on the bench after a loss to the Miami Warmth at Fiserv Discussion board in Milwaukee on April 26, 2023. (Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports activities)

“Everybody is aware of my ardour and love for my nationwide group has and by no means will change,” Antetokounmpo stated in a press release Friday. 


The seven-time All-Star additionally stated that his rehab course of has been underway for the reason that Bucks’ season got here to an finish. 

“Because the conclusion of my NBA season I’ve been pushing my physique to the bounds to be the participant I should be to assist our group obtain the objectives we set. However after months of labor and a number of conferences with medical employees it’s clear that I’m not able to compete within the degree that I should be to take part within the World Cup,” he stated.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles the ball

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball within the first half of the sport towards the Philadelphia 76ers at Fiserv Discussion board in Milwaukee on March 4, 2023. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Photographs)

The 28-year-old was sidelined for 19 video games in the course of the 2022-23 common season, with 11 of these on account of knee points.

Antetokounmpo underwent a process to scrub up unfastened cartilage within the knee, and the Bucks stated they consider the process went effectively. The group hopes Antetokounmpo can be able to go by coaching camp, which is scheduled to start in simply over a month. The NBA common season is about to start out in late October.

Giannis Antetokounmpo holds the trophy

Giannis Antetokounmpo holds up the successful group trophy after the NBA All-Star Sport at Vivint Area in Salt Lake Metropolis on Feb. 19, 2023. (AP Picture/Rick Bowmer)

His absence will additional harm the star energy of this 12 months’s World Cup, which takes place each 4 years. Solely two members of this previous season’s All-NBA Staff — Slovenia’s Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder — are slated to play within the match.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the 2021 NBA title. He averaged 31.1 factors and 11.8 rebounds this previous season.


Antetokounmpo is eyeing a return to worldwide basketball subsequent 12 months and hopes to characterize Greece in the course of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“This was not a alternative however my solely possibility in guaranteeing I get again to the extent of basketball I’ve labored so onerous to realize to date in my profession.” he stated. “I’m extraordinarily disenchanted on this final result however this was a choice made with the medical employees. I’m going to proceed to push myself to be prepared for the subsequent time my title is named.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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