Most NBA superstars long for recognition. They want everyone to reward them for their hard work and talent by sending all the accolades and awards their way.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is different.
Sure, Antetokounmpo is one of the most accomplished players in the NBA today. He has won two MVPs and a Finals MVP, and he has earned numerous All-Star nods. But while he appreciates everything he has received, Giannis is also tired of all the compliments.
He just wants to hoop.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has already racked up a long list of accomplishments with the Bucks
It’s hard to believe that Giannis Antetokounmpo is only 27 years old. It seems that he has been in the NBA forever, but the Milwaukee Bucks superstar is just getting started.
Through his first eight years in the league, these are the awards and accolades Antetokounmpo has to his name:
- Five All-Star appearances
- Five All-NBA selections
- Four-time All-Defensive team honoree
- 2016-17 Most Improved Player
- 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year
- Two-time NBA MVP
- 2020-21 All-Star MVP
- NBA champion
- 2021 NBA Finals MVP
- NBA 75th Anniversary Team honors
That list is certainly impressive, and he deserves every bit of it. But with those achievements comes compliments from around the world. And Antetokounmpo, who plans to play in the NBA for at least 20 years, is apparently tired of everyone’s praise.
Giannis says he’s tired of all the compliments
Antetokounmpo recently learned that The Athletic ranked him No. 24 on its list of all-time players, and it seems he was pretty excited. In the piece for the site, Eric Nehm wrote that Giannis even showed his partner.
But while the star forward appreciates the recognition, he also said he doesn’t like receiving praise.
“At the end of the day, all those compliments, I gotta put them on the side, and you gotta keep on working, because those compliments slow you down,” he said to The Athletic. “They grab you and hold you back. … ‘Oh. I’m top 24 of all time. I’m the big dog over here.’ That just slows you down. I don’t want to think about that. I want to think about what I can do better.”
He continued: “There are so many distractions now. Like, ‘you made top 75, you’re No. 24, you’re the Finals MVP, you’re the two-time MVP, or you’re that or this or this or that.’ … I’m tired of this s*** … well, I’m not tired of it, how can I say this? I’m tired of the compliments. Like, OK, guys, I know, but I just want to hoop. I just want to play basketball. I just want to keep playing basketball and see where it’s going to take me. Enjoy the game, every single moment, and that’s what I’ve done my whole career. I’ve tried to play hard, and I’m going to keep playing hard. It took me that far, and hopefully, it takes me even farther.”
Through it all, Antetokounmpo just continues to prove that he’s one of the most humble athletes in the world today.
But even if he’s tired of it, Giannis will likely receive more and more compliments as his career continues.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is already on a legendary path
Antetokounmpo might just want to hoop. But he’s pretty good at it, so he’s likely going to keep receiving everyone’s praise.
The young man from Greece has shown everyone that he’s a generational player. He has the athleticism to match up with any guard in the league but the size to go toe to toe with any big man. His skills have made him one of the NBA’s top scorers and defenders, as his ability to do both has put him in the same class as Michael Jordan (Giannis, MJ, and Hakeem Olajuwon are the only players to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season).
As Shaquille O’Neal said, Antetokounmpo has brought “bully basketball back,” but he does it with a new-school twist.
Antetokounmpo is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play in the NBA, and he will likely continue earning all the praise and compliments he never dreamed of receiving.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference