Giannis Antetokounmpo believes Greece should not enter the FIBA EuroBasket (September 1-18) with extremely high expectations.
The NBA superstar wants to see the national team go step-by-step in the competition and take it one game at a time.
“We have an opportunity to build something in the next three years. But we go step by step. I won a championship, and I was thinking about how to become better, how to make my teammates better, and how to find the opportunity to do that.
It’s exactly the same here. The first goal is to reach the quarterfinals and play a good game. Let’s do a good job, and then we’ll see what’s next,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told Greek media on Saturday.
The “Greek Freak” made it clear that the squad is not ready yet and has to work on building team chemistry if they want to have a deep run in the tournament.
“The first goal is to become a team. Let’s meet each other because everyone is a leader in their own team. I am a leader in Milwaukee, Sloukas is a no. 1 in Olympiacos, and so is Agravanis in Promitheas. But, we must become the best together.
I am not the best player in the world. It’s hard. Can the team help me to play as I do at the Bucks? But how will Sloukas play as he did at Olympiacos? How will Papapetrou play as he played at Panathinaikos? It’s hard. I can’t play the way I do with Bucks.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t want to see his teammates adapt to his playing style, but they should all work to become a team.
“We have a chance, but to be honest, from the training I saw yesterday, we are not ready for a medal,” he added.
Ο @Giannis_An34 μίλησε με έναν ξεχωριστό τρόπο για τους στόχους της Εθνικής Ομάδας, για το "πρώτος στο χωριό" και τη σημασία του να έχει τα αδέλφια του δίπλα του! #BringTheNoise #WinForHellas #HellasBasketball 🏀🇬🇷 https://t.co/cNg1Uqvm9Q
— Hellenic Basketball (@HellenicBF) August 6, 2022
With Giannis Antetokounmpo as the undisputed leader, Greece aims to return to the top of Europe and win a medal for the first time since 2009.
Greece will play a total of five preparation games ahead of the tournament, while they will face Serbia (road, August 25) and Belgium (home, August 28) for the Second Round of the Basketball World Cup Qualifiers before the official start of the EuroBasket.
Greece will travel to Milano in late August for the group stage of the EuroBasket, where they will take on hosts Italy, Estonia, Great Britain, Ukraine and Croatia.