Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury during Tuesday’s Eastern Conference finals Game 4 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, setting off alarm bells for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Greek national team as it gears up for the upcoming Olympics.
The Greek Freak needed help off the court on Tuesday after suffering a hyperextended knee in the third quarter after jumping to defend a Hawks alley-oop, and he did not return to the game.
In the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo off with knee hyperextension injury. Unfortunately brings many possibilities.
Best case: bone bruise, PCL/capsular sprain
Worst case: ACL injury
Hope for best case but concerned w significant hyperextension movement. 🤞🤞pic.twitter.com/6DYIDcY5SG
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) June 30, 2021
The seriousness of his injury is not yet known. His status moving forward was not immediately clear.
His left knee buckled backward, and he fell to the floor in pain.
The Bucks entered the night with a 2-1 series lead. Atlanta held a 62-52 lead when Antetokounmpo left the game and went on to secure a 110-88 win to tie the series at 2-2.
The series returns to Milwaukee for Game 5 on Thursday. Antetokounmpo’s status for that game and beyond are in doubt. He’s expected to undergo further testing on his knee on Wednesday.
Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer declined to speculate on Antetokounmpo’s prognosis after the game, telling reporters “we’ll see how he is tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Antetokounmpo injury worries Greece
The two-time NBA MVP is also hoping to represent Greece in the upcoming Olympic Games, his agent said on Friday.
“His goal is to be at Tokyo,” Giorgos Panou, his long-time agent mentioned in an interview with Greek public television, “Whenever he can be available and healthy, he will play for the National Team.”
Greece holds a chance to book the trip to Tokyo through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, Canada. The top-ranking country out of the six-team tournament will complete Group A of the Olympic tournament preliminary round with the USA, France, and Iran waiting for their third opponent.
Greece lost on Tuesday to Canada, but it still hopes to qualify for Tokyo if it beats China on Thursday.
Greece has already suffered a blow last week when their star player Vassilis Spanoulis –affectionately known as “Kill Bill”– announced he will retire from basketball following an injury.
In an emotional Instagram post, Spanoulis said that it is “time to close the biggest chapter of my life.”
To lose Antetokounmpo would be a severe blow for the Greek basketball team. Greece’s coach Rick Pitino was asked about the Greek Freak before his knee injury became known.
“We are proud of Giannis, he does important things with Milwaukee and has the opportunity to go to the NBA Finals. If we manage to qualify here, he will come with us to Tokyo.”