Former MVP and NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo has undergone minor left knee surgery and is unsure whether he can play in the World Cup with Greece.
In a month and 19 days the Men’s Basketball World Cup will begin in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, and the countdown has begun for Greece superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. His new coach in Milwaukee, Adrian Griffin, said on Wednesday that the 28-year-old winger had recently undergone “routine” surgery on his left knee. “It went very well, as expected, and we are waiting for him to be there for training camp,” said the man who succeeded Mike Budenholzer in the offseason.
Training camps for the various NBA franchises will start at the end of September, but until then there is a World Cup to play, from August 25 to September 10, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is therefore very uncertain. During this World Cup, Greece must face Jordan in the group stage on August 26, the United States on August 28 and New Zealand on August 30. Without their star, the Greeks would give up any chance of climbing the podium. Moreover, even when he was present, the results were not necessarily there, with a ninth place at the 2014 World Cup, a fifth place at Euro 2015, an eleventh place at the 2019 World Cup and a fifth place at Euro 2022.
Giannis has missed 21 games in 2022-23
Last season, due to knee and back problems, Giannis Antetokounmpo was only able to play 63 of the Bucks’ 82 regular season games (31.9pts, 11.8rbds and 5.7pds average) and he especially missed Games 2 and 3 of the first round of the play-offs against Miami (one victory, one defeat), won by the Heat, and his absence may have changed the course of this series. Missing the World Cup could allow him to return to his best level for the start of this 2023-24 season where the Bucks intend to regain a new title. For this, they have also signed a new contract with Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Jae Crowder, and recruited Malik Beasley and Robin Lopez.