Credit: AP-Scanpix
Credit AP-Scanpix

Before coming back to the training camp in the United States, Giannis Antetokounmpo gave an interview to Cosmote TV, where he spoke about last season's journey with the Milwaukee Bucks, rivalry with best players, the Greek national team, and EuroBasket 2022, which he is already aiming for.

Last season Giannis Antetokounmpo became the NBA champion, averaging 30.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in the playoffs, and NBA Finals MVP. But it does not seem that he wants to be praised for his achievements and he is not willing to be friends with the other top-level basketball players.

"I can’t be fake. I am Giannis. But calling me MVP, calling me champ, calling me the best player in the world, is something that might hold me back. And I don’t want anything holding me back. I want to look forward and be better. I am not working out with other players because we just can’t be friends. We can’t get a coffee together. If we do that, I cannot be aggressive with them on the court."

Back in 2020, James Harden said: "I wish I could be 7-feet, run, and just dunk. That takes no skill at all."

"Greek Freek" does not hold any grudge regarding those words and believes Harden was not aiming at him. According to the NBA champion, the media escalated the theme too much. Giannis has no doubt that James Harden is a superb player and a future Hall of Famer.

Asked about the best players in the world, the Greek basketball superstar did not see himself on top of the list.

"I like being a hunter. I am not the best player in the world. I am telling you, I am not! KD, LeBron, Kawhi, Luka, Curry, AD might be. I am not. I am still hunting the All-Time Greats. LeBron is still the best player in the world," admitted Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The 26-year-old claims that Milwaukee is his second home and Giannis' main goal is to win championships. His supermax extension was not about money and fame. It was about commitment.

Giannis also talked about his injury and the iconic comeback: "It wasn’t a miracle. If you work hard, if you don’t drink, if you don’t smoke, if you work hard for 8-9 years… I worked a lot and of course, God helped me a lot. I enjoyed my teammates when I was out.

I shouldn’t be playing in the Finals. I was hurt in Game 1. I was praying. We lost. In Game 2, I scored 42 but I shit my pants because I scored 42 and we lost! I was wondering how good are the Suns! I am still feeling pain."

In the interview, Giannis acknowledged his weakness and stated that he not only works on his in-game skills but with his mental state as well. "I was talking with a sports psychiatrist every day, he helped me be myself. If somebody comes in with a knife and you hide, you are a coward. But you will be the hero if you fight him. You have to learn how to handle your fear. The free throws were a mental issue," a Greek superstar declared.

Moreover, "Greek Freek" is ready to represent his national team in the upcoming biggest European basketball event. For him, it's a big pleasure to bring joy and smiles to his beloved nation.

"Hopefully, I will be healthy to play in EuroBasket 2022. I want us to go there, play together, enjoy. It’s a 15-day tournament. We don’t do that for fame, we do that to give joy to the people.

When you have not won, you do not understand that. I went to the Bucks parade and we saw 200,000 people, all of them with a smile. Can you imagine giving joy to ten million Greeks? I want to be well in 2022, I really want to succeed. I wish! I do not know what God's plan is," finished Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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