Original title: From Greek street vendors to NBA championships, Antetokounmpo staged an inspirational legend
On July 21, Beijing time, the 2020-2021 season of the NBA finally came to an end. The Milwaukee Bucks at home defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98, winning the NBA championship this season with a total score of 4 to 2. The Bucks core Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points and won the finals MVP with his excellent performance, helping the team win the championship again after 50 years. This poorly born Greek kid, because his name is too complicated, was called “Letter Brother” by fans. When he first entered the NBA because of his thin body, he was not favored, but with his own continuous efforts, he won the MVP of the regular season and the MVP of the finals. , The best defensive player and championship, has become a new generation of basketball idols.
I don’t have money to run and go to the gym to train
As an African immigrant, Antetokounmpo had a very difficult childhood. When Giannis was a child, it was difficult for his parents to find decent jobs, let alone support a family of seven. Because of the average family background, in order to save money, the five brothers of Antetokounmpo wore several pairs of sneakers at the same time when they were poorest. Only the boss has new shoes. After the shoes are worn out, the second child, the third child, and the fourth child come. Several brothers often rob each other for food. In order to earn some money to feed the family, Antetokounmpo and his brother sell pirated DVDs and sunglasses and other small commodities on the street together. Because of this, even if he has become a billionaire now, Antetokounmpo is still very economical.
On a match day in the 2013-14 season, Brother Antetokounmpo, who was on a rookie contract at the time, realized that he did not have enough money to go to the arena for a taxi after the bank remitted all his savings to his home in Greece, so he had to run. past. Fortunately, after running 1.6 kilometers, Antetokounmpo met a couple on the road who were going to watch the game. The latter stopped Antetokounmpo and asked him if he was the newcomer of the Bucks, and then took the ball with the wind. Pavilion. After entering the NBA, Antetokounmpo’s first reaction after earning money is always to send it home, which can be called a clear stream among NBA players who spend money.
Train hard and sleep in the gym
Antetokounmpo, the 15th pick in the first round when he was selected by the Bucks, did not attract too much attention from the outside world. The Bucks also started from the bench. Antetokounmpo came to the United States alone in his rookie season, while his parents stayed in Greece because their visas were rejected by the U.S. Embassy twice. If the visa application is rejected three times, the hope of entering the United States will be even slimmer. Antetokounmpo, who was very troubled about this matter, had to be an agent for a showdown. He said that if his parents cannot come to the United States, then he does not intend to stay in the United States, but returns to Greece, because he cannot accept that there is no parent by his side. After all, the young Antetokounmpo was still full of fear of coming to a foreign country alone. He was very lonely and needed the company of his family. Compared with the fame and fortune brought by the NBA, parents are of course more important. Fortunately, in the end, his parents’ visa was granted.
After entering the NBA, Antetokounmpo has a thin body, poor basic skills, and poor shooting. Although his physical talent is good, he is just a piece of jade. Players with good talents are everywhere in the NBA, especially foreign players, because there are not a few who can’t fulfill their talents and return home early. In order to improve himself, he is very diligent in both the training hall and the stadium. At that time, Brother Antetokounmpo’s residence was several kilometers away from the stadium training hall. Every day, Antetokounmpo used to run to the stadium training hall, first to exercise and warm up, and second to save money. Just like when I was young, sometimes when I practiced too late, Antetokounmpo slept directly in the gym. Day after day of hard training, Antetokounmpo’s muscles began to grow wildly, his skills also improved by leaps and bounds, and he gradually stabilized the team’s main force.
Unchanging the original intention to stick to the small ball market
Is always shining gold! For Antetokounmpo, the person who really saw his potential was NBA star Kidd. When the Bucks got Kidd in the summer of 2014, Antetokounmpo didn’t even know who Kidd was. However, Kidd, who has been a coach, has already begun to prepare to transform the Bucks. His first step is to announce that next season, the 2.11 meters Antetokounmpo will officially switch to point guard. Although Antetokounmpo didn’t understand it at first, he was talented, hardworking, and improved in passing. Outstanding physical conditions allow him to have a stronger offensive ability than his own coach. The Bucks also made the playoffs in Kidd’s first year in charge. In a good team atmosphere, Kidd’s team building is also getting better and better. The Bucks have become the tall and thin long-armed team in the NBA. Antetokounmpo is also getting better year after year under the guidance of Kidd. .
There is an interesting episode in the mentorship between Kidd and Antetokounmpo. When Kidd put Brother Antetokounmpo on the bench for the first time, Antetokounmpo became angry. “I thought, okay, let me see what’s so great about this guy’s career.” Antetokounmpo recalled, so he clicked on Kidd’s link on his phone, “I saw the best rookie, NBA A member of the championship who won the Olympic gold medal on behalf of the U.S. team, second in assists, fifth in three-pointers, and many similar things. I thought at the time, my goodness, what qualifications do I have to fight against him? I still closed Mouth it.”
Because the team’s performance could not go further, Kidd was later fired by the Bucks, and Popovich’s former assistant Budenholzer became the Bucks coach. Since then, the results of the Bucks have further improved, and Antetokounmpo has become the regular season MVP for two consecutive terms. However, his playing style has been criticized for his three-point and free throw defects. In 2019, the Bucks were turned 4-2 by the Raptors with a 2-0 lead and missed the finals. In 2020, the Bucks lost to the Heat led by Jimmy Butler in a favorable situation.
Two consecutive seasons of miserable losses have caused Antetokounmpo to be constantly questioned, and even known as the “Most Water MVP”. In today’s NBA environment, it is common to change teams if they fail to play. There is widespread rumors that Antetokounmpo will leave Milwaukee in search of a bigger market and stronger teammates. At the beginning of this season, the Bucks introduced Holiday in a big way. Although there are reinforcements, they are no longer regarded as favorites. Antetokounmpo did not win the regular season MVP again. The team ranked third in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, their opponents were the Heat and the Nets. No one was optimistic about them, but the team relied on its tenacious performance to reach the finals step by step. In the face of the sun, they fought back again under the situation of 0 to 2 behind, and finally went down to four consecutive cities and won the coveted championship. In the decades of NBA history, it is more difficult for small city teams to win championships than big cities, and it is even harder for small city teams to retain their stars. However, Antetokounmpo has always insisted, and finally made a good story with the Bucks, which also interprets the power of persistence. From a poor kid to the top of the NBA, his experience will also inspire more people to fall in love with basketball.
Red Star News reporter Li Bo