Greece question Antetokounmpo injury after Eurobasket withdrawal
The Greek Basketball Federation has accused the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA of conspiring to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo from competing for his country in this year's European championship.
Antetokounmpo will play no part at EuroBasket after posting an injury update on Facebook and Instagram ruling himself out, a knee problem cited as the reason for his absence.
An hour later Greek basketball officials released a statement that said: "A series of indications ... had convinced us of the existence of an organised and well-staged plan by [the Bucks], with the full knowledge if not encouragement of the NBA that put the athlete on the spot and forced him to announce today that he is no longer part of the men's national team."
Players' participation in international competition has long been a bone of contention for NBA teams, since the teams are not insured against injuries.
The Bucks, according to reports, were concerned about Antetokounmpo's knee issue and administered a physical while he's been on a tour of China.
Because of the injury, he played in only one warm-up game for the Euros, but he was supposed to join the Greek squad as it prepared for the tournament, which begins on August 31.
However, he failed the physical.
"It is by far the biggest disappointment in my career," Antetokounmpo wrote of not playing at EuroBasket.
But the Greek officials were not convinced, adding: "The simultaneous report by the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo himself, by phone and social media from faraway China, and not by the appropriate official manner, of his inability to join the national men's team saddens us ... but is not surprising."