Over his first several seasons, Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed into one of the elite talents in the league. The Milwaukee Bucks star forward has become one of the faces of the NBA behind his impressive performance on the court fueled behind his intense work ethic. It has also put him into closer contact with many of the game’s top players, such as LeBron James over the years. However, Antetokounmpo has kept his arm’s length distance from James in regards to working out for one particular reason.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rise to stardom
Giannis Antetokounmpo entered the NBA viewed as a developmental project for the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo displayed promise in his first couple of years behind his incredible athletic ability and impact on both ends of the floor. It didn’t take long for him to find his stride as he took a significant leap forward in his fourth campaign as he earned his first All-Star Game selection while he became the driving force in Milwaukee.
He has continued to progress along in his game as he has become one of the game’s best two-way talents while making the Bucks into a powerhouse. Antetokounmpo has continued to stack up his resume as he’s coming off his MVP award while earning four All-Star Game nods, an ALl-NBA First Team honor, a pair of All-NBA Second Team selections, along with an All-Defensive First Team nomination, and an All-Defensive Second Team nod, among other accolades.
Antetokounmpo has arrived as a premiere talent, but that hasn’t led him to work out with other elite players in the league.
Why Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t work out with LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rise to the top has come mainly from his work ethic and dedication to his craft.
That has seen him take an old-school approach to the game as he has continued to voice that he won’t work out with other players around the league away from his team. It was something that became clear in December 2018 as he revealed that he turned down an opportunity to work out with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. (H/T Bleacher Report)
“I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months,” Antetokounmpo said. “It feels weird. It doesn’t feel right with me. Like other players, it’s cool for other players, but I don’t. I don’t want to. Other guys do it.”
Antetokounmpo’s reasoning is quite straight forward as he doesn’t want to develop a different type of bond with fellow star players. It isn’t in his mental makeup to work out with other players; it takes away from the competition aspect.
It’s no shot at James or any other star by any means, but more so how Antetokounmpo approaches the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s bright future ahead
Putting that aspect of his craft aside, Giannis Antetokounmpo has firmly established himself as one of the best players in the game.
The 25-year-old is only entering the prime of his career while there is still plenty of growth ahead in his game. He has become a dominant factor in the paint, but his outside shooting has room for improvement. The fact that he’s averaging 20-plus points without a consistent jumper speaks to the promising level he has ahead of him. The addition of an outside shoot could further expand his offensive repertoire to make him an unstoppable offensive force.
There isn’t any clarity on whether he will extend his contract with the Bucks, but wherever he plays for the next chapter of his career, he will see many highly productive and impressive campaigns ahead.