By Giannis Antetokounmpo/ Follow @G_ante34
Giannis returns to his official blog, stronger than ever! He reveals his motto in response to a rejection in school, he digs criticism and he believes that he’s destined to play in many positions and be everywhere on the court!
Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting ready for his third season with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA and before the new big challenge gets under way, he writes on his official blog on Eurohoops and shares his thoughts, his feelings and his secret motto with his fans!
His individual goals for the new season, the criticism that he likes and seeks, his reaction to his portrayal as the most overrated player in the NBA, Jason Kidd’s decision to have him play in 5(!) positions, which he digs, and the great promise that he has made to himself and which he believes that if he keeps it, it’ll help him in basketball too!
“I like criticism!”
When you play in the NBA and there are a lot of people who follow you, believe in you and are interested in you, it means that you’re in the public eye. Everyone can watch you and criticize you. I like negative and bad comments as well. If I want to… feel good, I’ll get on Facebook and I’ll sit and read the messages of the people who glorify me. I’ll read them one by one and I’ll be happy. I appreciate them, I enjoy them, but they can’t help me as much as the negative comments.
When I was drafted, most people said that I wasn’t ready to play in the NBA and that I wouldn’t even be involved in the Bucks’ missions. We saw what happened. In my second season, many said that I couldn’t show anything more. I think I did. Now, before the third season, there are once again criticisms regarding how I will present myself and whether I deserve being placed high in rankings. Recently I was described on a show as the most overrated player in the NBA. It’s something that I liked! I seek it! It makes me more determined, it keeps me on the right track and makes me better. There are a lot of people who are prepared to say nice things about me. What I need to hear from my own people, from the team, from the media and from the fans are the criticisms, which can help me even more. I hold on to those criticisms, I think about them and they motivate me to stay focused on my goals.
I was a bit sad that the specific reference came from Tas Melas, who has Greek roots (laughs)! But I wasn’t bothered by it, the opposite… I hold on to it and I move forward.
“The five positions are a blessing!”
Jason Kidd has decided that he wants to use me in all 5 positions this season. I really like the idea of being everywhere on the court! When my coach believes I can do it, my confidence goes up and I’ll do everything to succeed. Sometimes my scoring will work out more, sometimes the rebounding or the impact on defense and facilitation. My goal is to help the Milwaukee Bucks systematically in all areas!
As time goes by, I’ll learn how to play in all positions more and more. I’m aware of the demands of each one individually and I dig changing positions in the game and being called from one moment to the next to do different things in terms of tactics. It’s something that comes naturally for me, maybe I’m destined to do this and I think it’s the best thing that I enter this process from such a young age.
This might become my biggest asset in the future! I think of players like LeBron James now or Magic Johnson before him. I’m not comparing them to me, far from it. I’m just saying that these players can play great in different positions and do many things on the court. This element helped them dominate and win titles.
I can do everything well. I believe that I want to get to the point where I can make the difference from many positions and this is what I’m working towards. I’m not worried that this will end up confusing me in the course of my career. I feel like it’s going to help me reach my consummation as a basketball player and take advantage of all the weapons afforded me by my basketball instincts and my body.
“The organization helps me a lot”
The entire organization of the Bucks helps me a lot and I thank them for it. Jason Kidd is very involved with me and I have two more coaches who work a lot with me on a daily basis, on the details of my individual development. Then there is my weightlifting trainer and two physiotherapists. One of them makes sure I do all the exercises in the right way and the other deals with strengthening my legs, mostly my knees and my quadriceps. I really appreciate the fact that 6 people work with me and take the time to help me every day.
Of course, there are also the “veterans” who give me advice! Last year it was Zaza Pachulia! This year, that role has been undertaken by Jerryd Bayless and O. J. Mayo!
Numbers and shooting
What is of interest to me is for the team to make that extra step – or even go beyond that – compared to last year where we played in the first round of the playoffs. On a personal level, I know that the Bucks are expecting me to be better. I don’t want to talk about numbers and set specific goals.
Greg Monroe has been added to our roster, a big guy who scores a lot. We have a lot of scorers and a lot of guys who are going to have the ball in their hands. So, I don’t expect to have it in mine all the time. But I do think that there will be a night in the new season where I’m going to be feeling well and things will be in place for me to break my personal best in points scored, where I’ll score more than 29 points.
I want to be better in rebounding and it’s very important for me, when it is asked of me, to be able to make the most of my teammates and facilitate. Jason Kidd knows I can do it and that’s enough for me.
This year, coach wants me to shoot when I have the room and the opportunity. He’s prompting me to take on three-point shots. My teammates are doing the same thing, they urge me to shoot. Since the organization wants me to shoot three-pointers, I’ll do it and at some point more and more of them will go in.
School, Thanasis and… the motto!
Everyone experiences difficult times and times of grief. My brother Thanasis worked hard in the Knicks’ preparation, but he didn’t get the chance. That doesn’t mean anything. He has to keep fighting and chasing his dreams. In the last two seasons he couldn’t play anywhere else except for the two teams that had the right to call him up. For the first time in his career he can speak with all the NBA teams and all the teams in the development league. If he doesn’t find what he’s looking for, there’s always the opportunity and prospect of Europe.
When I was 15 years old, I’d tried to get in the selection of the 12 best players in the school championships. I’d been cut from the top ones. Most of the kids that were in the top 12 do not play basketball professionally. I’m in the NBA.
On the occasion of this story that took place a few years ago, I’ll reveal my motto to you, the one that only my family knows about: Walk By Faith, NOT by sight!
I believe that this is the right attitude to life for everyone! I just need to be the better son, brother and human being i can.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support. I read all the comments on my blog and not only do they give me strength, they fill me with an even greater sense of responsibility…