By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Giannis Antetokounmnpo stayed only 16 minutes on the court against Montenegro, but even without him, Greece had it easy. According to him, this can be a sign for things to come, especially considering his role with the team.
When asked after the game about a potential second-round matchup against Team USA since he is the NBA MVP, Giannis clarified that this is not on his mind yet.
However, what ticked him was the fact that once more, it was mentioned that he is the NBA MVP. As he said: “We don’t think about the USA team today. We have focused on the great win that we had, what can we do better. Our next opponent is Brazil. We got to focus on that game. Team USA is far away. We got to take it game by game. And yeah, for the MVP? As I said I don’t want to be called that way, that’s in the past now. Just respect the guys who go out there and play as hard as they can and do what I do since day one. That’s helping my teammates get wins. Do whatever it takes. If that’s playing defense, or rebound the ball, or do whatever the coach asks me to do… dive for the ball? That’s what I do. That’s why I was named the MVP”.
And that’s why the Greek national team is not only Giannis. The Greek Freak gave credit to all his teammates, most of them non-known quantities to the casual fan outside Europe, but members of some of the biggest clubs in Europe and proved winners on the EuroLeague level.
“I think we have a great group of guys,” said Antetokounmpo. “They are good guys, that’s the most important. When the coach came to Milwaukee and met me, he said to me that he wanted to bring in players who are good kids first and foremost and then good players. And also, they are amazing players. There’s definitely a switch from the older generation to the new generation, but I am not the most important guy in the team — obviously guys like Papagiannis, Printezis, Bourousis, Sloukas, Calathes, all the guys. I can name everybody on this team. They are all really important, and they can contribute a lot to this team.”
And he continued in Greek: “I think that we have no ceiling on this team. Everyone in this team is a great player. We have to continue to work hard. They play in big clubs, and they have a great experience. If we give 100%, we will be good”.
Photo credit: Greek Basketball Federation