After a relatively successful NBA season in which he won the MVP award but missed out on the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo is back in a competitive environment. Giannis decided to participate in the upcoming FIBA World Cup for the Greek national team. He is definitely the biggest star in this tournament, especially after the majority NBA stars canceled their appearances on the World Cup that is taking place in China in September.
In an interview with the Greek newspaper “Ta Nea” Giannis said he feels extremely proud of the opportunity to represent his country. He also admitted the MVP award he received means little to him in comparison to a potential gold medal with the Greek national team. Giannis is happy he is healthy and has a plan to play for the national team anytime he has the chance.
“I would change the MVP title for the gold medal in China. I always feel something special when playing for the national team. When you are starting the tournament and listening to the national anthem, the emotions can’t be described. After the first basket, the first plays, it is an amazing experience and every time I feel as proud as the first time. The feeling of winning with the national team is incredible and I have said before that I will always be part of the team, as long as I am healthy like this summer”.
Gianni’s brothers Thanasis and Kostas are also invited to play for the national team and this is a great opportunity for a mini family gathering but also a great opportunity to work on their game together. Giannis is closely connected to his brothers so them playing for the Greek national team is something their parents are extremely proud of.
“We’re just trying to encourage each other and get better. It is an incredible feeling that all three of us are together. We have worked very hard to get here and to achieve this. That’s why I know that our mother is proud, as is our father, who I’m sure he is watching us from the heavens”.
Giannis will be the first reigning NBA MVP to compete in the FIBA World Cup after missing 2017 Eurobasket because of an injury. There will be a lot of expectations Giannis to lead the national team to a gold medal, which they are perfectly capable of, especially after the tremendous season he had with Milwaukee Bucks this year.