With all he has accomplished in his young career, Giannis Antetokounmpo could claim his status as the next face of the NBA – but he’s not interested in that. In an interview with GQ, the frontman of the Milwaukee Bucks revealed what makes him different from your typical NBA superstar.
Giannis keeps signed jerseys of his NBA rivals
Antetokounmpo does not hang out with the opposing team’s players and does not train with them during the summer. It is a personal choice that allows him to maintain a competitive border with his rivals. This “me versus the world” mentality is reminiscent of the killer mentality of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. With this way of thinking, Giannis shows off the old school vibes that fans have grown to love.
“I can’t train with you in the summer and play with you in a few months.” It’s weird. I do not feel good. It’s cool for other players, but I don’t want to.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Athletics
Despite the competitive nature of the Greek Freak, Giannis has revealed that he idolizes the players he competes against on the pitch. In a GQ story written by Zach Baron, the 26-year-old shared his collection of signed jerseys from NBA rivals such as Anthony Davis, James Harden and Luka Dončić, among others. But his most precious possession came from LeBron James.
“A lot of people think I have beef with James Harden, which is not true. This one is from Luka Dončić, the boy prodigy. Anthony Davis. LA, you know him. Jokić. I love him. Game! Oh, it’s mine from this year. It’s MVP I won. The All-Star MVP. Bradley Beal. Damien Lillard. Derrick Rose. I love Derrick Rose. LeBron James, man. See! Look what he wrote for me.
Giannis Antetokpunmpo, GQ
James’ message to Antetokounmpo, which ended with a drawing of a crown, is the kind of message a generational star would give to the next generational star. Call it passing the torch or inspiring the next young people to seek greatness, but the message resonated with the MVP twice, calling it “big time.”
What makes Giannis Antetokounmpo special
Giannis is not your typical NBA star. He’s not there to make friends, but he also appreciates that other players use them for motivation and inspiration. After winning the NBA title, he was seen the next day ordering chicken nuggets from Chik-fil-A. No big celebrations, no events, just an NBA champion who wants to eat fast food as a reward.
His rise to stardom didn’t happen overnight. The rise has been slow but steady, moving from all-star status in 2016 to that of favorite MVP. The humility and maturity shown by the Greek Freek make him a rarity among young stars in the NBA today.
Giannis doesn’t stop there. As James noted on the signed jersey, the sky is the limit for him. If Antetokounmpo maintains this level of focus, winning a few MVPs or more titles in the future is not a question of how but when.