Written by: Miguel Rocha

The ‘Greek Freak’ Giannis Antetokounmpo invaded Manila for the weekend. We linked up and talked about sneakers, family and his 2k rating.

// What’s up Giannis, welcome to Manila.

GA: Thanks, good to be here. It’s my first time and it’s been great so far.

// Growing up, your father was a big soccer player.

GA: Yes, very big.

// What made you decide to play basketball?

GA: I wanted to be a soccer player growing up but I was spending a lot of time with my older brother Thanassis who played basketball a lot. He decided to play at an early age so I followed him Thank God I followed him. At first, the first month it was questionable and hard because I didn’t like it. But I wasn’t so bad spending time with my brother.

// There is a court in Greece now with a huge mural of yourself. What crosses your mind when you see that?

GA: It’s fun, it’s really fun. I’m really happy I want to thank Nike for doing that. It’s really important to remember where you started from. I’m happy but I have 2 older brothers and 2 younger bros. I wanted my brothers to be there because that’s where we started from. Thanassis, Kostas, Alex, everybody played there. Hopefully they can all be great. Just having my face there it’s nice but hopefully they can all play basketball and have their faces there as well.

// Who’s the funniest amongst all of you?

GA: I would have to say Kostas is the funniest.

// Your teammate Matthew Dellavedova is also in town. What has he brought to the Bucks and how has he helped you out?

GA. That championship experience. Delly is a great guy, great teammate, super competitive. He works hard and plays hard. He brings that championship mentality to the team. Especially since he played with LeBron, he gives me so much advice on stuff I would never have thought. Just playing with Bron he knows a lot of angles, high IQ guy.

// When you were a rookie, your 2k rating was at 49.

GA: What? 49 what? 49?

// Yeah, when you were a rookie. Now it’s hovering around an 86. What are your thoughts on the progression?

GA: I’m happy with the progression. A lot of improvement. I just try not to focus on the ratings but it’s fun to know that. I try to take a lot of stuff from everyone I look up to. Pippen. Iverson. LeBron. Kobe.

// You’ve worn the Kobe X majority of the past couple of years what is it about that shoe that you like?

GA: They’re just so comfortable. I don’t like changing that much. I use around 20 pairs for the whole season. I got ugly feet so I just do not like changing a lot. The Kobe 10s make my feet feel so comfortable. I’ve been wearing them for 2 years.

// How has the thought process been like with your Nike PE’s like the Zoom Live?

GA: Usually I’m not that fancy. I just like black, white, green to match the Bucks jerseys. Simple and clean. Nike sends me lots of pairs but I stick with my Kobes.

// How about off the court? What’s on the Greek Freak’s feet?

GA: Off the court I just like relaxing, spending time with my family, watching movies and working out. I like my Air Force 1’s. High tops like what I’m wearing now.

// How many do you have? Do you keep them all?

GA: Yes I keep everything. I don’t count though, I don’t want to. Let’s just say there’s a lot (laughs).

Photos by: Vic Sebastian