Will Antetokounmpo play in the 2024 Paris Olympics?
The two-time NBA MVP will not be representing Greece at this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament, but has his eyes set on Paris 2024
NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has withdrawn from participating in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this year as he continues his recovery from recent knee surgery. The acclaimed player, who has earned the prestigious title of NBA MVP twice, will not be representing his home country, Greece, in the upcoming tournament, set to begin later this month.
Antetokounmpo underwent a minor surgical procedure on his left knee during the summer. He disclosed on Friday that he won’t be able to participate in the World Cup due to his current physical condition. Born in Athens, Giannis mentioned that his medical team advised him against competing. The Greek national basketball team is slated to compete against the United States, Jordan, and New Zealand in the tournament’s group-stage matches, which will take place in Manila, Philippines, starting on August 25. The World Cup will span across the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.
“Everyone knows my passion and love for my national team has and never will change,” Antetokounmpo said in a statement Friday.
The seven-time All-Star also shared that his rehabilitation has been underway since the end of the Milwaukee Bucks’ season. In the 2022-23 regular NBA season, Antetokounmpo was sidelined for 19 games, with 11 of those due to his knee issues.
The Bucks believe the surgery was successful and are hoping he’ll be ready to practice again in about a month. The regular NBA season starts in October.
“Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set. But after months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff it is clear that I am not ready to compete in the level that I need to be to participate in the World Cup,” he said.
Which All-NBA stars will be at the FIBA World Cup?
Sadly, Antetokounmpo’s absence means the World Cup won’t have some of its biggest stars. Only two players from last season’s All-NBA Team, Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, will be playing.
Looking ahead, Antetokounmpo is setting his sights on a potential return to international basketball next year, with aspirations to represent Greece in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“My personal, and our ultimate team goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics games and it will be an honor to represent my National Team next year,” added Antetokounmpo.
The 28-year-old player, who guided the Bucks to victory in the 2021 NBA championship, boasted impressive statistics of averaging 31.1 points and 11.8 rebounds in the most recent NBA season.