Medical Concerns Force Giannis Antetokounmpo Out Of FIBA World Cup

Milwaukee Bucks superstar 
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed most of the team's first-round playoff defeat this past spring due to injury. And while every player would love to bring a Gold Medal home for his country in this summer's FIBA World Cup, the Greek Freak isn't taking any chances. Still recovering from surgery on his left knee earlier this offseason, the two-time MVP is pulling out of the international event.

Giannis himself posted a full explanation for his decision on social media.  

“Everyone knows my passion and love for my national team has and never will change,” Antetokounmpo said. "Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set. But after months of work and multiple meetings with medical staff, it is clear that I am not ready to compete in the level that I need to be to participate in the World Cup." 

His knee problems caused him to miss 11 games this past season (he missed 19 regular season games overall). He went down in Game 1 of the Bucks' first-round playoff defeat to the Miami Heat due to back issues, and only returned in Game 4, too late to avoid a 5-game elimination. 

These injury problems are not something he wants to repeat this coming year in Milwaukee. Understandably, therefore, he's playing it safe this summer.

Photo: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports