Giannis Antetokounmpo on playing for Greece: 'I can't play the way I do with Bucks'

2022-08-06 10:45

Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Greece national team and did his duties during the media day, where he answered the questions before the upcoming EuroBasket 2022.

The Milwaukee Bucks superstar was asked about Greece's goals in EuroBasket, but this time Antetokounmpo suggested a different perspective.

"It's not about what people expect," Giannis said during the media day. "It's what the coach expects and what the team expects. In the other events we went to, we didn't qualify for the quarterfinal."

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis  Antetokounmpo
Position: PF, SF
Age: 27
Height: 211 cm
Weight: 98 kg
Birth place: Athens, Greece

"But at the end of the day, we have to train. At this moment, we are not ready for medals. We have to train and get better. We need to create realistic goals. That's how I operate. I have to be the best, the team has to be the best so that we can take the next step, which is to qualify for the quarterfinal," Antetokounmpo added.

The 27-year-old also noted that unity in the team will be another important aspect.

"The first goal is to become a team. Let's meet each other because everyone is a leader in their own team. I am a leader in Milwaukee, Sloukas is a no. 1 in Olympiakos, and so is Agravanis in Prometheus. But we must become the best together," said 2-time NBA MVP.

So, is it realistic to expect a medal from this Greece team?

"And why wasn't it 3 years ago?" Antetokounmpo answered with a question. "This is not the case. We can't think about medals. Every time we make this mistake, we get our butts kicked. We have one of the best coaches in Europe. We have players who will leave in a few years, like Sloukas and Calathes."

"We have an opportunity to build something in the next three years. But we go step by step. I won a championship, and I was thinking about how to become better, how to make my teammates better, and how to find the opportunity to do that.

It's exactly the same here. The first goal is to reach the quarterfinal and play a good game. Let's do a good job, and then we'll see what's next," Giannis added.

Antetokounmpo also said that it's hard to expect to see the same version of Giannis as we are used to in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo also added that he'd do whatever it takes to make this Greece team better.

"I am not the best player in the world. It's hard," Antetokounmpo said. "Can the team help me to play as I do at the Bucks? But how will Sloukas play as he did at Olympiakos? How will Papapetrou play as he played at Panathinaikos? It's hard. I can't play the way I do with Bucks."

"You can't have 11 people adjust to one. I will play wherever the team wants me to. We have a chance, but to be honest, from the training I saw yesterday, we are not ready for a medal.

But if we work for three weeks we can [be ready]. We must have realistic goals. And at the Bucks, we weren't going for a championship from the beginning. It happened little by little," Giannis added.

Finally, all the Antetokounmpo brothers - Giannis, Thanasis, Kostas, and Alex - are present in the Greece training camp, and as you would expect, it makes the biggest star of the family happy.

"Excited! I'm happy," Giannis shared his emotions. "For all of us to play, train, and take pictures together is a dream come true. My mother feels proud."

"I try to help them as much as I can, but I'm not their coach. I tell them what is right and what is wrong. How to learn and make the team better because they are the next generation," Giannis concluded.


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