Giannis Antetokounmpo has freakishly long limbs, but he doesn’t sit back and rely on his physical attributes to get to where he wants in life quick. It’s part of his history, growing up with illegal immigrants who traveled from Nigeria to Greece.
Nowadays Giannis Antetokounmpo rushes down the basketball court playing for the Bucks. He works to become a sure-fire franchise player, but he still keeps the mentality he developed growing up. He trains as hard as he can, prays harder as if there lies no assurance to where he’s heading.
“Because my parents were illegal, they couldn’t trust anybody,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told SportsIllustrated. “They were always nervous. A neighbor could be like, ‘These people are making too much noise, their children are making too much noise,’ and the cops could knock at our door and ask for our papers and that’s it. It’s that simple. So you’re always a little closed. I’m outgoing when I feel comfortable, but it took me 21 years just to invite a girl to meet my friends. I’m closed too.”
Experiences translate into Giannis Antetokounmpo ‘s game
Giannis Antetokounmpo is trying to determine how far he can go in the NBA, or what direction he may take. But for sure, he has the underlying ability to live his dream, and he learns from the best.
At 6’11 he plays as a point guard like Magic Johnson. He can play post-ups and learns subtle moves from Kiki Vandeweghe, and Shawn Kemp’s dunks.
It’s always about learning, as a way of reassuring himself. If it isn’t a form of anxiety, it is an active way of showing how he appreciates everything that he has.
You can’t tell him he isn’t working hard enough.
“You can tell me I’m not playing well,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “You can tell me I’m not doing the right things. But you cannot tell me this. I won’t accept it.”
Learning from Jason Kidd
Not only does the Greek Freak push himself to learn and be the best, but he also has one of the best point guards in Jason Kidd to guide him. Kidd wants to make him the biggest point guard in the game.
Like him, Jason Kidd wants to impart the lessons he’s learned, and Giannis is taking it all like a sponge. When Kidd benched him as the Bucks new head coach Giannis had to see if he had the resume to call the shots.
“I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’ ” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone, reported on Yahoo! Sports. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.”
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