Giannis Antetokounmpo on playing for Greece: “Wearing that jersey is totally different”

2022-12-01T12:10:13+00:00 2022-12-01T12:16:26+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

01/Dec/22 12:10

More international basketball to follow for Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is also excited to finally reunite with Khris Middleton

By Johnny Askounis/

Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed playing for Greece in the 2022 EuroBasket and committed to participating in more FIBA tournaments deeper into his career.

Antetokounmpo, 27, was the driving force for the Greek senior national team making it to the Quarterfinals but falling to Germany, the host of the knockout stage of the most recent edition of EuroBasket. The latest international spell followed the 2014 and 2019 editions of the FIBA World Cup, the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and the 2015 EuroBasket.

“This summer, I felt comfortable. I was still able to help my team go to the final eight. Unfortunately, we were not able to beat Germany in Germany. They knocked down a lot of shots,” he recalled the elimination of Greece during the postgame press conference following the Bucks defeating the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden Wednesday. Unable to contain Germany’s shooters, the team coached by Dimitris Itoudis then conceded 17/31 three-pointers losing, 107-96.

“I think it was a good step towards the right direction,” continued the Freak, “The culture is changing. I enjoyed playing FIBA basketball. I enjoyed playing and representing the national team. Wearing that jersey is totally different, representing 11 million Greeks and four million Greeks outside Greece. It is a great feeling and it is something that as long as I am healthy and I can go, I would because it is a totally different experience.”

As for the 2022-23 NBA Regular Season, his side went up to 15-5 with Khris Middleton finally nearing his season debut. Antetokounmpo’s longtime teammate has been sidelined since suffering MCL sprain in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

“I am very excited to have Khris back. I missed him,” he said, “I played the Playoff series and the European championship without Khris. I played 20 games without Khris, I missed my guy. He makes the game a lot easier for me. He’s one of the best players in the league. He is a big part of who we are. He is a big threat out there, one of our best, if not the best closer in our team.”

Up next for the Bucks is this season’s home fixture opposite the Los Angeles Lakers Friday.