A medal with Greece? Giannis Antetokounmpo prefers to remain cautious
Giannis, Thanasis, Costas and Alex : none of the brothers are missing Antetokounmpo for the first meeting of the Greek selection! For the best known of the four, this great first on the family level is » a dream come true. We are proud to defend each other in training. Our mother can’t wait to come to the games. But on the pitch, they are my teammates, not my brothers. »
The Bucks superstar can take advantage of the moment because it is unlikely that all of the siblings will be retained in the final selection, to compete in the Euro next September. A competition in which Greece, thanks to its NBA MVP, will try to do well in the midst of many title candidates this year.
» Judging by yesterday’s practice, we’re not ready for a medal yet, but we have our chancesnotes Giannis cautiously. No matter what others expect, (the important thing) is what the team expects. In all the competitions I took part in with Greece, we didn’t even reach the quarter-finals. We are not ready for medals or trophies. »
The team’s last international podium dates back to 2009 with a bronze medal at the European Championship, four years after the band’s last European title in Theo Papaloukas. Since then, the team from Greece, currently 9th in the FIBA rankings, have missed out on qualifying for the Olympic Games and have not shone in the world championships either. In 2019, Giannis and his family had to settle for a modest 11th place.
We are not yet a team
» We have to create chemistry and the right atmospheredisplays today the leader. Let’s go and do our best. I have realistic goals, I need to improve. We have three weeks to bond. I will adapt to what the national team expects of me and not the other way around. Our coach is doing a great job. »
For Dimitris Itoudis also, the team still has a lot of preparatory work to do. « We are not yet a team. The players don’t know me and I don’t know them. We still miss George Papagiannis who does not train. We have very little time and we have to take advantage of every second. Talking about medals today is just a dream “Judges the coach.
» Why was a medal not possible the previous times and would be now?asks Giannis. We can’t talk about a medal, that’s what we always do and we fail. We have to do something before (nick) Calathes, (Costas) Sloukas and (Costas) Papanikolaou did not leave the team. I didn’t win a title with the Bucks because I was thinking about the NBA title. Step by step, we have to improve. »