Giannis Antetokounmpo: “I felt I was the next chosen one since I arrived in the NBA”

2018-08-09T19:39:13+00:00 2018-08-09T19:39:13+00:00.

Aris Barkas

09/Aug/18 19:39

Giannis Antetokounmpo talked to Eurohoops about him having his own signature shoe, being on the cover of NBA2k and the NBA status quo.

By Nikos Varlas/

The Antetokounbros spend their summer working on their game and also organized for the first time the  “Antetokounbros 5K run” in Athens.

Before the event, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Panathinaikos forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo, talked to Eurohoops not only about the event but about the current state of the NBA, Giannis’ upcoming signature shoe and the big summer moves in the league.

– Ten years ago when you were starting playing basketball, Thanasis has said that you were sharing the same pair of shoes. After so many years, Giannis is going to have his own signature shoes. What would be your reaction back then, if someone said to you that this will happen? 

Giannis: “I would say … It’s incredible. We have started from nothing and we have reached this point right now. We must continue to work. We must remain humble. I do not think that we were sharing the same shoes just because we had nothing. There’s real love in our family. I remember when Thanasis got his first pro contract with Marousi, which was part of the top Greek division back then. He returned home and he had for the first time two, or three pairs of shoes, given to him by the team. He gave them to me. I wore them in practices and then I was giving them back to him. We are very close. And I still can’t believe that we will have our own show as a family”.

– Very few players who have their own signature shoe. This, combined with the 2K cover, makes you aware of your status in the NBA? Is that an extra pressure? The fact that everyone feels like you are the next big thing? The next chosen one? 

Giannis: “I felt I was the next chosen one since I arrived in the NBA. There is no pressure on me. ”

Thanasis: “The point is that when you do the job and we do it every day, every summer, every winter, you get the confidence. When you work from morning till night, you are going to be confident and you will think that you will do what you have to do in order to reach the highest level. So there is no pressure. ”

Giannis: “Do you know when there is pressure? When you do not have to eat. That’s pressure. If you are the next big thing, there’s no pressure. Most importantly, what I want to emphasize is that there has never been a non-American player with his own signature shoe by Nike. What I want to say is that all dreams can become true, if you work hard, if you believe and you do not give up. There will be bad days also, but if you believe, you will succeed”.

-What was the first thing you thought about when you heard LeBron James went to the Los Angeles Lakers?

Thanassis: “I think that more or less it was expected by many. There were, of course, others who said that it will not happen, that he will remain in Cleveland. Some of us knew about his children going to LA schools and his relationship with the city of Los Angeles. ”

Giannis: “Well, it’s true that his kids went to school in LA, but we were all shocked at first.”

– Did you think that everything changes in the league after this move? 

Thanasis: “That’s a completely different conversation”.

And what was your reaction when DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors

Giannis: “I was really very shocked. And also for the money he got. Some may have forgotten it, but I think he is the best big man in the NBA”.