NBA

How Giannis Antetokounmpo Refuses to Let This NBA Habit Distract Him

The Greek Freak is averaging 30 points a game along with 12-plus rebounds and nearly 6 assists. However, there’s one place many All-Stars love to be that you’ll never find Giannis Antetokounmpo: a pregame fashion report.

Following the path Allen Iverson blazed in the late ’90s, NBA players spend hours crafting the perfect outfits before games. A recent GQ list analyzed which players dripped the hardest⁠, and Antetokounmpo was unsurprisingly missing.

While he may not display the fashion sense of LeBron James or D’Angelo Russell, Antetokounmpo has a style all his own.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s pregame routine

Prior to Bucks’ home games, the press often catches Antetokounmpo entering the arena in a modest Nike Tech Fleece. His public trip to Fiserv Forum takes place after hours of meticulous preparation. It often begins as early as six hours prior to the first whistle.

After morning shootaround, a trip home for a nap, work with a physical therapist, and his personal shooting practice routine, there simply isn’t time for Antetokounmpo to do a New York Fashion Week impression. As halftime ends, Antetokounmpo is usually the first one out on the floor, even going so far as to warm up while the halftime show is in progress.

The habit Antetokounmpo avoids

The NBA is a fashion-conscious league, and there’s a financial incentive for players to stay up on trends. In addition to lucrative sponsorships for clothing and shoes, players are encouraged to build their personal fashion brands outside the game itself.

However, Antetokounmpo simply refuses to let the pregame style culture distract him. Although he made headlines with his Nike partnership, even becoming the first foreign-born player to get his own signature shoe, Antetokounmpo leaves the clothing world off the court.

The Bucks’ ascent with Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks warms up before the game
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks warms up before a game | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Five years ago, the Milwaukee Bucks finished 33-49, their sixth straight season at or below .500. However, a closer examination of that season reveals a young man from Greece finishing second in points per game (and top three in steals, blocks, assists, and rebounds).

Antetokounmpo settled in for the long haul with Milwaukee, working hard over the offseason and coming back for 2016-17 with a vengeance. Over the course of the season, he led the team in every major category and finished with 32 double-doubles and 3 triple-doubles.

The forward won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and brought the Bucks to the playoffs despite a 42-40 record. Although the team lost in the first round, the Bucks were poised to continue improving. In 2018-19, Antetokounmpo won the league MVP award with a 60-22 season that saw the Bucks reach the Conference Finals.

Antetokounmpo focuses on the game

The MVP award made Antetokounmpo the focus of the NBA. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone in his place embrace the limelight. However, the Greek Freak maintains his laser focus on improvement.

The Bucks are somehow off to an even better start than last year at a startling 27-4 (versus a very impressive 22-9). Before every game, Antetokounmpo makes sure to complete his usual routine. And it’s looking like his team’s 17-2 run in home games will last the rest of the season.

As long as the 25-year-old continues leading the Bucks with his current dedication, the 2019-20 Bucks have a shot at bringing the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy back to Milwaukee. This would be the first time since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in 1971.

Quietly focusing on back-to-back MVP seasons, Antetokounmpo prefers to make his headlines on the court instead of off it.

Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.