Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez wished their MVP-winning Milwaukee Bucks team-mate Giannis Antetokounmpo the best with Greece at the FIBA World Cup, just not against the United States.
Middleton and Lopez watched as Antetokounmpo dominated in the NBA last season after he averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists while helping the Bucks clinch in the number one seed and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bucks pair heaped praise on Antetokounmpo, even if they are set to be his rivals at the upcoming World Cup in China.
"There are just so many possessions, so many dunks, but the vision, the unselfishness that he has, it's just so impressive for a superstar of his talent," Lopez told reporters on Wednesday. "And his work ethic is just what amazes me the most, it’s really second to none."
"Every night he steps on that court, you know he's going to give it his all," Middleton added. "You know he's due for one of those big plays."
Middleton and Lopez will not be Antetokounmpo's team-mates at the World Cup, which gets underway in China on August 31.
Antetokounmpo will lead Greece, who have been drawn in Group F alongside New Zealand, Brazil and Montenegro.
Reigning champions Team USA, meanwhile, will face Turkey, Czech Republic and Japan in Group E.
"We've spent hours in practice against each other and it will definitely be fun to get it in a real game," Middleton said. "That's my team-mate, my brother and wish him the best but hopefully not too good against us."
There is no guarantee Middleton will get a chance to match up with Antetokounmpo, but it is not out of the realm of possibility, either.
If both teams finish in the top two of their pools, they could get a chance to face off down the line.
It is something Lopez said USA are not planning for yet but admitted it would be a difficult task on defense, just like it was for every NBA team this past season.
"It would be a total team job," Lopez said. "All five guys have to be on the same page all doing our job."
|76ers stay perfect at home, Robinson equals Miami record|
|Lamar Jackson endorses likely number one pick Joe Burrow for Heisman Trophy|
|Lamar Jackson limited as Ravens prepare for Jets|
|Dallas Stars fire head coach Montgomery for ´unprofessional conduct´|
|From a season of 15 wins to 15 in a row - Middleton cherishing Bucks´ blistering start|
|Wentz: Overtime win over Giants can define Eagles´ season|
|I like being the villain - Paul George revels in hostile reception on Indiana return|
|Patriots admit video crew violated NFL rules|
|Antetokounmpo leads Bucks to 15th straight win, Kawhi-less Clippers top Pacers|
|Eagles trump Giants in OT to keep playoff hopes alive|
|Patriots coach Belichick denies involvement in alleged Bengals filming|
|Nothing´s changed – Cavs star Kevin Love on trade talk|
|Mahomes doesn´t have broken hand – Chiefs coach Reid|
|World Series MVP Strasburg agrees seven-year Nationals deal|
|Bears linebacker Roquan Smith out for season with torn pectoral muscle|
|Patriots fans have the right to boo, says Brady|
|Doncic not interested in comparisons to ´one of a kind´ Jordan|
|I need to calm down - ´Passionate´ Luka Doncic holds his hands up after clash with officials|
|´He can do it all´, ´one for the ages´ - LeBron and Lakers laud dominant Davis|
|Joining Kobe, LeBron as 50-point Laker ´humbling´ for Davis|
|Davis dominates for Lakers, Doncic passes Jordan|
|Chiefs clinch AFC West, Seahawks´ streak snapped|
|It´s fine – Brady downplays heavily wrapped right elbow|
|Playoffs ´pretty cool´ but Jackson wants more from Ravens|
|Ravens playoff-bound, 49ers edge thriller against Saints|
|Ben Simmons given three-point target after landing his second as 76ers trounce Cavs|
|Simmons, Doncic lead 76ers & Mavs to crushing wins|
|Carolina Panthers hand LB Shaq Thompson four-year, $54m extension|
|Tight end Njoku activated by Cleveland Browns|
|Eli Manning to start for Giants against Eagles|
|´Awful´ Clippers give Giannis birthday gift as Bucks make it 14 in a row|
|I might sneeze on him – LeBron wants to keep in-form Davis under the weather|
|Giannis & Bucks top Clippers for 14th straight win, LeBron´s Lakers down Blazers|
|Popovich slams Knicks for ´ridiculous´ decision to fire Fizdale|
|Warriors´ Kerr reacts to Knicks sacking Fizdale: That would´ve been me three years ago|
|New York Knicks sack coach Fizdale|
|Antonio Brown apologises to ´the organisations I offended´ and eyes NFL comeback|
|Nick Folk? Wes Welker? Bill Belichick to ´see how it goes´ as Patriots consider kicker options|
|Cowboys owner Jerry Jones cut off from radio interview after swearing|
|Odell Beckham Jr.: I never said I´m not happy in Cleveland|
|No back-to-backs for Zion Williamson when he returns, says Pelicans GM Griffin|
|Roquan Smith injury ´doesn´t look good´ - Bears head coach Nagy|
|It´s losing, losing, losing - Jones tired of Cowboys slump|
|Patriots star Brady plays down injury report|
|Trubisky´s four TDs lead Bears past slumping Cowboys|
|Rockets overcome Raptors, 76ers beaten|
|Steelers RB James Conner ruled out of Cardinals clash|
|Beckham casts doubt over Browns future|
|NFL Week 14 Bullet Points: Three must-know stats previewing every game|
|Veasy grateful for Kaepernick workout after getting Redskins chance|
|We can fight - Antetokounmpo on fiery Griffin clash as Bucks down Pistons|
|I had a malfunction - LeBron James embarrassed by uncalled travel|
|´Mama didn´t raise a wuss´ – Mayfield confident of facing Bengals|
|LeBron´s Lakers silence slumping Jazz, Bucks win 13th straight|
|Hamels signs one-year, $18m deal with Braves|
|Panthers QB Newton to undergo surgery|
|Buccaneers coach Arians not ready to decide on Winston´s future|
|Ron Rivera: My intent is to coach again|
|Giants ´very likely´ to start Eli Manning after Daniel Jones ankle sprain|
|LeBron James hails ill Anthony Davis´ ´monster performance´ in Lakers win|
|Officials admit James Harden dunk should have counted in contentious Rockets defeat|
|Lakers bounce back, Harden scores 50 in Rockets´ loss|
|Devils fire Hynes as head coach|
|Struggling Panthers fire head coach Rivera|
|Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year|
|Giannis confident Bucks can stay locked in amid historic start|
|Dalvin Cook allays injury fears after leaving Vikings´ loss to Seahawks|
|Bucks cruise to 12th straight win, 76ers beat Jazz|
|Seahawks hold off Vikings to go top of NFC West|
|Lions´ rookie TE Hockenson placed on IR, QB Stafford still ´week to week´|