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Giannis Antetokounmpo likely unavailable for Greece in World Cup qualifiers

giannis antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be unavailable to represent his native Greece for the World Cup Qualifiers in September, according to Yiannis Bouranis of TalkBasket.

The Greek National Team is scheduled to play against Serbia and Georgia on Sept. 13 and 16, respectively, in the second round of the qualifiers, which could allow Antetokounmpo to play in at least one of those two games.

Yet the Bucks will start their training camp on Aug. 27, which makes it all the more unlikely the team will give him permission to travel to Greece for those two weeks and represent his country, due to the conflicting schedules.

The driving factor is the direction of a new head coach in Mike Budenholzer, which will establish a new play style with new roles — making The Greek Freak’s presence as the focal point of the offense, rather vital to the team moving forward.

Greece will likely announce the roster in the next few days, without their key cog in Antetokounmpo. This is hardly the first time that the NBA schedule has come in the way of international competition, but changes to give players further breaks and less back-to-back games has caused commissioner Adam Silver to move the start of the season to mid-October, giving national teams that much less of a chance to feature their star players in FIBA competition.