Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo shared Friday in an interview that he hears some criticism from former players through his teammates and family but said it doesn’t keep him up at night. It just makes him want to work harder.
Criticism from former players was one of the topics discussed in Sirius XM NBA Radio Program “Starting Lineup”. Giannis also provided insight into his family’s opinion of the Disney movie, “Rise,” and discussed how he’d like to “disappear” after retirement, expressing contempt for the popularity he’s gained over the past nine seasons in the NBA. .
Giannis shared with the show’s hosts—NBA writer Frank Isola and former Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine—that he tries to avoid most social chatter, but ends up finding out about it in the locker room or because his longtime partner, Maria Riddlesberger, or his mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo, He will tell him about it.
“People are talking in the locker room. My significant other might come up to me and tell me did you hear what this guy said about you. Or is my mom, she’s on Facebook all day. …She knows everything. You know, she’s my number one fan, or The stalker who I say is my mom,” Giannis joked.
Last season, Giannis was the subject of discussion on NBA talk shows after former player Charles Oakley said Giannis would come off the bench in the ’80s or ’90s. Two days after Oakley appeared on the podcast, NBA legend Isaiah Thomas Oakley criticized Giannis and said Giannis would dominate in the ’80s and ’90s.
Recently, former NBA player Gilbert Arenas made headlines when he said Giannis was nowhere near being the best player in the league.
“He doesn’t understand basketball yet,” Arenas said. “He plays sports, he won a great championship. He doesn’t really understand how to be great, how to be better, how to train his body.”
Isola and Scalabrine asked Giannis to respond on Friday and of course the MVP who got twice on the highway.
“Does it bother me? I’m not going to lie, it makes me want to work even harder,” said Giannis. “Do I go home and think about it and can’t sleep? Not necessarily.
“But at the end of the day, hey, I don’t know, when I’m 45, 50, I might be a bit bitter as well. I might see, you know, this 20-year-old sign a three-year, 900 million contract… Maybe, I don’t know, but I don’t think so.
“Because I am grateful for all that God has blessed me with, for my children, for my brothers, for my family, for my father, you know, for my son and the people I work with. I am grateful for that and I don’t think I would ever be like this.”
Giannis says he’d like to “disappear” after retirement, and asks “Where the hell is Tim Duncan?”
The topic of Giannis in his forties and fifties came up again in the interview while addressing his popularity.
He asked the show’s hosts how his experience in Europe was this summer playing for the Greek national team, which he said certainly notes his popularity but said he “doesn’t like it”.
“When I retire from this game I want to disappear. I want to go somewhere where they don’t know me. I went to Sweden two years ago and no one knew me.”
Giannis, being a young millennial, made a social media post on the streets of Sweden screaming that no one knows who he is. “No one bothered me, it was fun.”
Giants went on to note how famous former NBA players Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are being taxed, saying “They’re retired, but people still, love them, know them and follow them…I don’t know if I can do that.”
“I want to be like Tim Duncan, where the hell is Tim Duncan? I don’t know where Tim Duncan is. I want to play the game and then forget about it.”
Giannis says Disney’s “Rise” was good but it was watered down
Giannis’ popularity grew exponentially, especially among younger children when Disney released a movie – “Rise” – chronicling his childhood.
He said that his real-life experience was much more difficult than in the Disney movie and that his mother was not a fan of the original script.
“They do their job, I call it dramatic, fabricated…My mom told them from day one, we don’t want it. We want our story…The real story, it’s not child-friendly,” Giannis said.
“(Life) was definitely a lot harder. And there were things that we can’t say. It’s very hard to put together a two-hour movie, your whole life. So, together we decided to put as much as possible, the things that people could draw inspiration from. Look a little at a glimpse of our story.” And I think they did an incredible job.”
Giannis said it took several Zoom calls, “hours and hours” of conversation to get his mother to agree to the script. “The last piece, it was good. My mum was happy, that’s what I care about. My brothers love it. I think my dad would be very proud of the movie.”
Giannis added that he “can’t wait” for a “darker” movie to be released, because that would be more accurate.