Greece coach Rick Pitino says he is planning on trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics without Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Pitino officially took over as coach of the Greek national basketball team on Monday. He said he would leave a roster place open for Antetokounmpo in qualifying games but is not sure if he will be able to rely on his best player.
Giannis Antetokounmpo soars for a dunk during Greece's victory over New Zealand Thursday in Nanjing, China. The national team had to work hard to beat the Tall Blacks, but did so with a 103-97 score, becoming the last team to make the 16-team field for the second round of the FIBA World Cup. Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks led Greece with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Greece's national basketball team began its World Cup campaign with an easy 85-60 victory over Montenegro in Nanjing, China.
Greece opened a 42-16 lead at halftime and cruised from there.
Veteran forward Giorgos Printezis led Greece with 16 points.
Greece's superstar, reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, had 10 points in 16 minutes.
NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Greek national team were in action on Saturday as part of the 2019 Suzhou International Basketball Challenge in China. Greece thrashed Jordan 92-65 in a game that took place ahead of the FIBA World Cup that kicks off in China next Saturday. Antetokounmpo scored 13 points, behind Giorgos Printezis with 17 points.
Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks (center) looks to pass the ball, between Italy's Giampaolo Rice (right) and Paul Biligha, during a game at the Acropolis basketball tournament in the indoor Olympic stadium of Athens on Friday. Greece won the game 83 to 63. [Yorgos Karahalis/AP]