You have to admit that there are few nicknames in the NBA that are catchier than “Greek Freak.” It also cannot be denied that it does have some negative connotations to it as well. If you ask Giannis Antetokounmpo himself, however, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar admits that he doesn't really mind being called as such.
In a recent interview with Malika Andrews on ESPN's NBA Today, Giannis did reveal, though, that he does have some reservations about the moniker. It's not that he gets offended by the term “freak,” but it actually has a lot to do with his roots:
“I've heard it so many times,” Giannis said. “It doesn't bother me, but people don't call me the Nigerian Freak. They all call me the Greek Freak. This is a time for you to understand that I'm both. I'm not just Greek, I'm Nigerian. “
Giannis was born in Athens, Greece, but as he said, he also has African roots. His parents are Nigerian immigrants, and it is clear that he is extremely proud of his Nigerian connection.
“You cannot choose the nickname that people give to you,” he said. “But what I can the people is that I was born and raised in Greece. I understand the Greek culture, I speak the language, I know the history. But at the end of the day, I know exactly the same things of the Nigerian culture. I'm not just one thing. You cannot tell me what I am.”
It's admirable that Giannis has a real desire to highlight his African roots. This speaks volumes of how much appreciation this man has for the journey he took to where he is today.
Whatever you want to call him, what is a known fact is that Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the top players in the NBA today. It doesn't really matter what nickname the media gives him; the Bucks superstar will just continue to be a dominant force in the league for many years to come.