During his time in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo has established himself as one of basketball’s brightest stars. On the court, there’s nothing the Greek Freak can’t do; he’s capable of defending, scoring, and running the floor with equal ease. Beyond his athletic abilities, though, Giannis also seems to have a good head on his shoulders.
While plenty of players have complained about life inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble, you won’t hear a bad word from Giannis Antetokounmpo. In fact, the Bucks forward’s own past helps to put things in perspective.
Not everyone is thrilled with the NBA bubble
If you asked a child for their dream scenario, being trapped on Disney property would probably be close to the top of the list. For an NBA player, however, things aren’t all fun and games.
In an attempt to complete the 2019-20 season, the NBA has relocated to a bubble in Walt Disney World. On paper, the idea makes sense: if everyone is quarantined on resort property and doesn’t interact with the outside world, things will be pretty safe. In reality, however, things are a bit different.
Beyond the logistical concerns, like keeping the bubble sealed off from the outside world, there have been some challenges to confining hundreds of professional athletes to hotel rooms. Rajon Rondon, for example, compared his accommodations to a Motel 6; we’ve also seen countless social media posts complaining about food quality.
Giannis Antetokounmpo puts things in perspective
While they’re admittedly champaign problems, plenty of NBA players have taken issue with life inside of the Orlando Bubble. Giannis Antetokounmpo, however, isn’t going to complain about his current situation.
“I’m in a situation where I’m extremely blessed, and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there’s always something to complain, there’s always a problem and an issue,” Antetokounmpo said, according to ESPN. “But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.”
Living in a small apartment wasn’t the only challenge of Giannis’ childhood, though. As the sons of Nigerian immigrants, the Antetokounmpo brothers sold items like sunglasses and purses on the street to help ends meet. They didn’t always have money for food, let alone luxuries like new basketball sneakers.
That reality informs the Bucks forward’s perspective. While living in the bubble might not be perfect, he’s still living the dream.
“This is something special,” Giannis continued. “Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I’m just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I’m happy that we’re back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there’s nothing really to complain about.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo has bigger concerns than life in the NBA bubble
Thanks to his childhood in Greece, Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t going to be complaining about his hotel room or meals in Orlando. Even without that perspective, the forward has more important things to worry about.
While his rapid rise to stardom has brought plenty of individual accolades, the Greek Freak is still chasing his first NBA title. This year, the Bucks cruised through the Eastern Conference; 538 gives them the third-best chance, trailing only the Lakers and Clippers, of lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
This postseason, however, could be even more significant. Antetokounmpo hits free agency in 2021, and, as far as we know, the ability to win championships may be a deciding factor. If Giannis feels like the Bucks are a legitimate championship contender, he’d be more likely to stay in Milwaukee; if they fall short this year and next, he may be tempted to look for greener pastures.
At the end of the day, Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t worried about the size of his hotel room or the cup of macaroni and cheese he’s receiving with dinner. The Greek Freak is in the bubble to win an NBA championship.