Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped a bombshell on Wednesday saying that “he is serious” in thinking of taking a one-year sabbatical from the NBA to “disappear” with his family to Greece.
After scoring 40 points to help the Bucks take a 3-2 lead over Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, the two-time MVP asked reporters out of the blue: “If I don’t play after this season, do I still get paid? Do you guys know how it works?”
Antetokounmpo, 27, was asked how he would spend his sabbatical.
“If I take a year off, what would I do?” he repeated. “I would disappear. I would go to an island in Greece, stay with my family and disappear for a year.”
As he walked off, he added: “I’m being serious.”
The relevant segment is at 9’50” in the following video
Most journalists at the post-game press conference took it as a joke. But was it?
Where would Antetokounmpo spend his sabbatical in Greece?
Antetokounmpo delved into the dilemma many visitors to Greece have when he compared two of the most glamorous Aegean islands, Mykonos and Santorini recently.
“Mykonos is one of the best islands in Greece, it’s a party island. You cannot go there with your significant other, you got to be by yourself. It’s got to be a boys’ trip. Obviously, we have Santorini, Santorini’s really romantic. It has the best sunset and sunrise in the world. You can take your significant other there,” he had said.
He could still choose Sepolia, the neighborhood in Athens where he was born and where he is regarded as a hero.
Antetokounmpo is immensely proud to be Greek
The Greek Freak was born to Nigerian immigrants who had illegally immigrated to Athens in 1994, but he was not technically considered a Greek citizen until he turned eighteen.
However, the basketball phenom is immensely proud to be Greek and often speaks of his love for his home country.
On Tuesday, Disney+ released the trailer for the upcoming movie about Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family, called Rise.
The company also announced the movie will be available to watch on Disney+ starting June 24th.
It is an inspiring story about how a family launched the career of three NBA champions, Giannis, Thanasis, and Kostas. Giannis and Thanasis both play for the Milwaukee Bucks and are 2021 world champions, and their brother, Kostas, won the title in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Much of the shooting about Antetokounmpo’s life took place both in Greece in 2021 and in the United States.