Greek NBA champion and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed that he is now fully vaccinated during the Milwaukee Bucks Media day on Monday. The basketball superstar said that he received the vaccine in order to protect his family.
The Milwaukee Bucks formally opened the 2021-22 season Monday afternoon at Fiserv Forum with their annual media day, featuring the primary ownership group, general manager Jon Horst, head coach Mike Budenholzer and the club’s star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As the league is set to begin this season, it has placed more restrictive COVID-19 protocols on unvaccinated players. Team governor Marc Lasry said the “vast majority” of the team is vaccinated and Antetokounmpo, the NBA Finals most valuable player, said that he is one of them.
Antetokounmpo: Vaccination best thing for me and my family
“For me, I think it was best for myself and my family to stay protected,” Antetokounmpo said. “Yeah, I’m vaccinated. I put everything down and I thought it was the best decision for me to be safe,” he continued.
“I have kids. And, you know, who knows, who knows how this vaccine will affect you down the road. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I know right now it’s going to keep my family safe.”
The 26-year-old became a father for the second time in the off-season. On February 10, 2020, Antetokounmpo’s girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger gave birth to their first son, Liam Charles, before delivering their second son this summer.
New Dallas Mavericks head coach and former NBA star Jason Kidd recently revealed Antetokounmpo’s second child will be named Maverick.
Antetokounmpo vaccinated, but with knee injury
During his media day interview, Antetokounmpo was asked about his recent left knee injury, which happened during the Eastern Conference Finals. The vaccinated “Greek Freak” had said in an interview during his summer stay in Greece that he was “still hurting.”
“I feel good,” he answered. “Obviously I gotta do my treatment like always, take care of my body. Just manage it, you know? I don’t think there’s no rush for me here. I’m good to go. But if I feel pain again or whatever the case might be I listen to my body.”
In the NBA playoffs Antetokounmpo said he was playing through pain. “I don’t think now is the time to risk that. It’s too early in the season. But at the end of the day I feel good physically, mentally. I’m doing whatever I have to do be 100%. That’s pretty much it. That’s all I can do.”
Antetokounmpo’s head coach Mike Budenholzer added: “Giannis’ health and Giannis being at 100, or as close to 100% for as much of the season, is important to us. I think now is the time when you can err on the side of caution; maybe more.”
Every year the NBA has an 82-game season, topped with a playoff run. It is a very long period of punishing activity for the athletes, and the Bucks staff need their star player totally healthy.