However, that’s not always the case when Antetokounmpo is in different cities. In fact, before the 2021 Finals — which began in Phoenix — the two-time MVP wasn’t recognized by the front desk lady at his hotel, and it turned out to be an inconvenience since he needed to get a new hotel room key.
Giannis Antetokounmpo lost hotel room key and wasn’t recognized by front desk lady
Antetokounmpo lost his hotel room key before Game 1 of the Finals. When he went to the lobby to get a new one, the front desk lady didn’t know who he was, and the one-time Defensive Player of the Year used his alias instead of his real name. When Antetokounmpo gave his alias, the lady was confused as to why he couldn’t provide some form of ID as proof.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, a hotel co-worker saw the situation unfolding and intervened. For one night, Antetokounmpo had his anonymity back, and he couldn’t help but smile through the entire process. After all, this is how his public life would go all of the time if it were up to him. The Bucks swingman is a very low-maintenance superstar and prefers to remain out of the limelight.
Other than his funny interaction at the hotel, Antetokounmpo presumably didn’t enjoy his time in Phoenix. The Bucks lost Games 1 and 2 despite the Greek Freak scoring 20 points in Game 1 and 42 in Game 2.
“It’s kind of hard to enjoy the game when you’re losing, but we’re going to figure it out,” Antetokounmpo said after Game 2. “We’re going to figure it out. We’re going to keep — win or lose — still be together. And we’re going to figure out ways to put ourselves in position to win.”
After two days off in between Games 2 and 3, Antetokounmpo came out ultra-aggressive in Game 3. There were no funny moments at a hotel and late-night conversations with beat reporters. The All-Star was back home with his family and on a mission to get his first Finals victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led Bucks to 20-point win in Game 3
The Bucks won Game 3 of the Finals by 20 points behind an incredible performance from Antetokounmpo. The 26-year-old finished with 41 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 60.9% from the field and 76.5% from the free-throw line.
“I just read each possession at a time,” Antetokounmpo said after Game 3. “Sometimes, I’m going to be aggressive for two minutes straight. Sometimes, I’m not. Because the ball is not in my hands because Khris [Middleton] is being aggressive at that time or Jrue [Holiday]. Each possession, each time of the game, it’s different. I’m not planning what I do. I’m just trying to be out there, trying to take it a possession at a time, try to enjoy the game, try to make the right play.”
The pressure is still on the Bucks to win Game 4 since they can’t afford to go back to Phoenix down 3-1. However, they certainly have a game plan to build off of after winning Game 3 so convincingly.
The Greak Freek is living in the moment
Antetokounmpo is doing his best to enjoy the game of basketball and not think about the past or future. That mindset has helped him not overthink things when he has the ball on offense and become predictable.
“I’m just out there trying to enjoy the game, trying to play, trying to put myself in a position to be successful,” Antetokounmpo said following Game 3. “That’s what I’m trying to do. You know, when I take each possession at a time, when I have a possession in front of me, I try to get myself in a position to be successful. Sometimes, it’s driving the ball. Sometimes, it’s sealing down in the lane. Sometimes, it’s setting a screen.”
Antetokounmpo is the second player in Finals history to record at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back games, joining Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. It will be fascinating to see how he plays in Game 4 and if he can lead the Bucks to a 2-2 tie.