19/May/16 13:54

I keep the negative comments as screenshots on my phone!

19 May 2016 2016-05-19T13:54:26+00:00.

Aris Barkas

- 19 May 2016


Giannis Antetokounmpo returns to his official blog on Eurohoops a few hours before he comes back to Greece. From Los Angeles, where he has been working on an individual level these past days, directly to Thessaloniki! He’s going to fly with Thanasis and they will become one with the city and give another show, this time in front of the audience of a city that has held high the banner of sports in Greece for decades!

Everyone’s excited… The idea of the EKO Antetokounbros Event 2016 – which is organized by Eurohoops – in Thessaloniki, excites them! On Sunday, at 15:30 in the evening, at the Nikos Galis Hall of Alexandrion Melathron, with free admission for all ages. Everyone, come along!

Giannis is looking forward and invites you all!

Before that, he talks about the change in his life caused by the sudden fame and the way he feels about the media, his fans and the haters, who have a… beneficial role in his career!

I must learn to live with it

I understand that a lot of things have changed and that this has happened suddenly. I see that the media are engaged with me a lot, as are the fans. I’m aware that there are two sides to this. There are people that, even though they don’t know you, admire you, believe in you and are happy when you do well. There are others that are always looking for something to say and are going to find it no matter what.

Publicity is something that you can’t avoid and that you simply try to learn how to deal with. That’s what I do. We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes the whole situation and the demands created by it might wear me out. On the other hand, I have to be honest. My dream always was to play in the NBA and succeed. The media, the people, the positive and the negative comments, are all things that I must learn to live with. It’s part of my job, and therefore, my life.

You have to be smart, mature and with time and experience, learn how to respond to this situation. I’ve written before on my blog that the negative comments are the ones that pique my interest more, I remember them and I… seek them out! In the US I don’t have time to read the articles about me, or people’s comments.

I feed off negative comments

In Greece, in the summer, I did it often. I would look at people’s comments and I would read them too. Whenever I see the positive comments I appreciate them and I say to myself, thank you. The negative comments, I often save those as screenshots on my phone, so I can have them in front of me and read them at any time.

There are mean people out there as well. People that judge unfairly and who are spiteful in ways that I don’t think I deserve. But, you know what? I thank those people. Because they essentially provide me with the impetus and the extra motivation to become better every day! It is from those people that I get the energy to create extra incentives aside from those I already have in my career.

In the game against the Lakers, for example, I produced the first triple double. Yes, I was happy, I felt good, I won’t lie. Then other things followed. There was a period that I played really well and others when games didn’t work out for me.

But I know what I have to do so as not to rest on my laurels, to be in the right mood. I’ll get on social media and find comments that will help me, so the very next day after every good performance I will get up and work harder than the last time.

I know that I’ll always find people that are going to find something to write about. That two assists shouldn’t have been counted because my teammate dribbled twice after the pass. That he travelled. Or that I didn’t score a three-pointer. That I’m playing well and that I have this role because my team didn’t play as well as we would have liked this season.

No matter what I accomplish, no matter how much I try, there are always people that will find something negative to say and emphasize regarding my performance. They always find something, so I always have to improve!

It’s 100% for certain that several people function in this way and aren’t going to change their way of thinking, no matter how much I accomplish in the future. Every person that comments in this way, makes me think, ‘Ok, I’ll do another triple double and see what else they’re going to charge me with next time!’

So, there is nothing better than turning that negative energy into motivation, greater determination, greater persistence. It’s something that helps me a lot and I’m glad it’s going to accompany me throughout my journey.

Furthermore, as time goes by, I try not to read articles that are written about me. Journalists do their job and I fully respect them. I do another job and I can get better all the time only if I’m involved with that completely and give 110% every day. Sometimes, I might read something that will grab my attention and I choose to read specific articles. But as time goes by, I don’t have time for anything else other than basketball.

The recognition and the love is the highest reward

I’ve reconciled with the idea and I’m already preparing myself for it, that if I continue to make progress in the NBA, the more fans there are, the more haters there are. Those who support me, I’ll always appreciate and thank them. But I also have to gain things from the haters as well. This is how: to use them as a means of getting angry in a creative way and become better, to force them every time to find something different to say about me.

For an athlete, the people’s recognition and love is the most important legacy, perhaps more important than the titles, the posthumous fame or the money. Furthermore, it’s an athlete’s duty to give back to the people and try to share the joy and the enthusiasm with them.

Out of this sentiment, this thought and – for me – obligation, the idea of the Antetokounbros was born. We thank Heraklion from the bottom of our hearts and we expect to see everyone in Thessaloniki, the city that put basketball in the hearts and homes of Greek people.

Sunday, May 22, at 15.30 in the evening at the Nikos Galis Hall!