Giannis Antetokounmpo Makes Olympics, Luka Dončić Misses Out

For the first time in 16 years, Greece will compete in the Olympics in men’s basketball. And for the first time in his career, two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is an Olympian.

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Bucks and Athens native led the Greek national team to a win over Croatia, 80-69, securing their place at the Paris Olympics. One day earlier, they beat Slovenia and Luka Dončić by 28 points. In 2020, the Slovenian team won Group C, beating Spain, Argentina, and Japan, and lost to France in the semifinals by just one point. Because of their loss to Greece, Slovenia will miss these Olympics.

Greece in Group A

The Greek team will compete in Group A in Paris alongside Canada, Australia, and Spain. The Greeks are +1900 to win the gold medal, which ranks them second in their group behind Canada, which is paying +1100.

Team Canada features Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, and just a year ago they won the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup.

Australia is paying +4500 four years after securing the bronze medal in Tokyo. Spain was a silver medalist in 1984, 2008, and 2012, and the bronze medal winner in 2016. They are paying +5000 to win gold in Paris.

Team USA in Group C

The United States is in Group C with Puerto Rico, Serbia, and South Sudan. The U.S. is the heavy favorite to win the gold medal, paying -500.  They will open Olympic group play against Serbia on July 28, and the Americans are favored by 12.5 points. Three days later, the U.S. faces South Sudan, and they are favored in that game by 33.5 points.

The U.S. will play five tune-up games over the next two weeks, beginning Wednesday July 10 against Canada in Las Vegas. They will play Australia on July 15 and Serbia on July 17 in Abu Dhabi, and there will be games in London against South Sudan on July 20 and Germany on July 22.

Serbia is led by three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić and Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanović, and they are +1500 to win the gold medal. Puerto Rico is a +30000 longshot to win the gold medal, and South Sudan is at +40000. This is South Sudan’s first Olympic men’s basketball appearance.

France and Germany Also Contenders

French basketball is having a moment. They claim each of the last two No. 1 overall picks, with 2023 pick Victor Wembanyama unanimously winning Rookie of the Year. Now, they get to host the best international basketball tournament in the world, four years after they won the silver medal in Tokyo.

France is +1400 to win the gold in Paris, which ranks them third overall behind the U.S. and Canada.

Germany is +3000 to win gold, ranked behind the top three, as well as Serbia and Greece. The Germans have Franz Wagner, who averaged 19.7 points per game last year for the Orlando Magic, and Dennis Schröder, who just completed his 11th NBA season. In 2023, Germany won gold at the FIBA World Cup, beating the United States in the semifinals.

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