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Giannis Antetokounmpo: “I Don’t Want to Be the Face of the NBA”

Giannis Antetokounmpo during the NBA finals in July. Credit: Instagram / Giannis Antetokounmpo

Greek NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis returned to Greece on Sunday, where they shared their plans for the future and their feelings with the public.

The Antetokounmpo brothers gave a 30-minute interview at the international airport in Athens on Sunday in which they spoke about their NBA journey so far, and their dreams for the future.

“We’re going to take it everywhere, to Sepolia, Zografou, to all the places we grew up in,” Giannis said, proudly referring to the trophy they brought with them.

The two brothers did not just bring the MVP trophy but also the famous Larry O’Bryant trophy, which left the shores of the US to land on the European continent for the first time in history.

“We aren’t going to stop. Our parents didn’t stop working. They worked constantly to feed us and to raise us. We got this from them. We will never stop working, just like our parents,” Giannis proudly said.

”I don’t want to be the face of the NBA”

What makes Giannis Antetokounmpo so popular and so lovable in America as well as in Greece is not just that he has managed to become one of the most successful basketball players in American history.

It’s his character, his genuine humility, and the fact that he never seems to let arrogance take over.

Giannis proved that once again on Sunday, when he humbly said ”I’m not the face of the NBA; I don’t want to be the face of the NBA.”

Despite his incredible success, Antetokounmpo said that ”It could be (Kevin) Durant, or (James) Harden.”

The NBA superstar added that all that matters to him is to be able to do his job and see his family.

”I want to do my job, see my family; I don’t care about being the face of the NBA, I want to be Giannis who goes to the court and works,” he said in a moment of pure humility.

”The best feeling I have ever had was when I became a father, and when I’ll become again,” Giannis noted, putting everything into perspective. ”No NBA championship can beat that,” he said.

The Antetokounmpo mentality: Always getting better

Giannis Antetokounmpo explained how he felt during the night of the triumph earlier in July. ”What I experienced in the locker room with Thanassis was unbelievable, everything, all of it,” Giannis said.

”Together with my brother, (we’re) so young, it is incredible,” he added. ”It only lasted for one night, but I want to experience it again, as a team,” the Milwaukee champion declared.

The Greek player also explained how this unique feeling makes him even more determined, making him focused on getting even better.

”I like to win and to give everything I have during the game. This feeling is addictive, I cannot explain it,” he said.

”We want to continue to become better, to play and reach our limits,” Giannis declared, adding that ”if we keep our heads down, we’ll be able to achieve tremendous things in our careers.”

The future plans of the Antetokounmpo brothers

Talking about what next chapter of success they will write, Giannis spoke about his next big goal:

The great honor of playing in the Olympics with the Greek national basketball team.

”I wish we could be in the Olympics right now, playing with the national team,” Giannis said, ”having the momentum from the victory and the NBA title.

”I really want to do something great in the future. To win with the national team.

”We want to represent our flag the right way,” the NBA champion noted, showing that the celebrations for this season’s achievements will soon have to give way to new plans for the future.

”Every year we surpass what we did the year before. Now, I do not know what the future holds, but I know that tomorrow I will get up to go to the court to train. This is our mentality and it will not change,” Antetokounmpo noted.

The two brothers are expected to visit their native neighborhood in Sepolia on Monday evening, in a gesture of great symbolism by the brothers who have never forgotten their roots.

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