Bucks‘ All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out of Eurobasket earlier this week, which was met with disdain from the Greek basketball federation. The group accused the Bucks and NBA orchestrating an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Antetokounmpo out of the event. However, a statement from the NBA reported by the Associated Press (via ESPN) explicitly denied the allegation.
“The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have followed all appropriate protocol under the NBA-FIBA agreement,” the NBA’s statement reads. “Giannis has an injury that has been confirmed through multiple examinations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
The Bucks explained that Antetokounmpo reported knee pain while training in Greece. The saga does not end there as, after a series of communications between the Bucks and the Greek team, Antetokounmpo was ultimately pulled from the tournament after the knee ailment did not improve. This subsequently led to the allegations that both the NBA and Bucks purposely sabotaged Antetokounmpo’s stint.
After a tremendous season with Milwaukee last season and major expectations for 2017/18, Antetokounmpo’s NBA future will be his most important.
Read up on more news around the basketball universe below:
- Antetokounmpo will not be the only major name to be pulled from Eurobasket this week as the Clippers‘ major international signee, Milos Teodosic, will also not compete in the event, per Eurohoops (via Twitter).
- As part of an in-depth look at the reporting side of the NBA, Steven Kyler of Basketball Insiders breaks down how “sources” work. Kyler explains how information is gathered from agents, front office personnel, the players, and other people inside the industry that leads to the stories that are reported across the internet.
- As part of its Summer Forecast series, ESPN has released its predictions for standings in both the Western and Eastern conferences.