Giannis Antetokounmpo joined the Greece national team and carried out his duties during the media day as he answered questions ahead of the upcoming 2022 European Basketball Championship.
The Milwaukee Bucks star was asked about Greece’s goals in the EuroBasket, but this time Antetokounmpo suggested a different view.
“It’s not about what people expect,” Giannis said during the media day. “That’s what the coach expects and what the team expects. In the other events we’ve been to, we haven’t qualified for the quarter-finals.”
“But at the end of the day, we have to train. At the moment, we are not ready for the medals. We have to train and improve. We need to create realistic goals. This is how I work. I have to be the best, the team has to be the best so we can take The next step, which is to qualify for the quarter-finals.”
The 27-year-old also indicated that unity in the team would be another important aspect.
“The first goal is to become a team. Let’s meet each other because everyone is a captain in their own team. I’m a captain in Milwaukee, Slukas is #1 at Olympiacos, and Agravanes is in Prometheus. But we must become the best together,” said the NBA’s Best Player twice.
So, is it realistic to expect a medal from this Greek team?
“And why wasn’t it 3 years ago?” Antetokounmpo answered with a question. “That’s not the case. We can’t think of medals. Every time we make that mistake, we kick our butts. We have one of the best coaches in Europe. We have players who will leave in a few years, like Slukas and Kalacs.”
“We have An opportunity to build something in the next three years. But we go step by step. I’ve won a championship, and I’ve been thinking about how to get better, how to make my teammates better, how to find the opportunity to do that.
It’s exactly sI’m here. The first goal is to reach the quarter-finals and play a good game. Let’s do a good job, and then we’ll see what’s next.”
Antetokounmpo also said it’s hard to expect to see the same Giannis version we’re used to in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo also added that he will do whatever it takes to improve this Greece team.
“I’m not the best player in the world. It’s difficult,” said Antetokounmue. “Can the team help me play like I do the Bucks? But how will Slukas play as he played at Olympiacos? How will Papapetrou play as he played in Panathinaikos? Difficult. I can’t play the way I do with the Bucks.”
“You can’t make 11 people fit into one. I’ll play wherever the team wants it. We have a chance, but honestly, from the training I saw yesterday, we’re not ready to win 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 to the tournament from the start. “It just happened little by little,” Giannis added.
Finally, all the Antetokounmpo brothers – Giannis, Thanassis, Kostas and Alex – are at the training camp in Greece, and as expected, he makes the biggest star in the family happy.
“Excited! I am happy,” Giannis shared his feelings. “To play, train, and take pictures together is a dream come true. My mother is so proud.”
Giannis concluded, “I try to help them as much as I can, but I am 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.”