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As one of the top-five players in the NBA and leading the team with the best record in the league, it could be assumed Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is like most players in wanting, even craving attention.
You know what they say about assuming, though, and that would certainly be the case when it comes to Antetokounmpo, averaging 27.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.5 blocked shots in 33.0 minutes in 60 games for the 49-16 Bucks.
“I’m not trying to criticize nobody; everybody can do whatever they want to do,” the 24-year-old told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “But I see a lot of young players coming out who think that by putting your name in the media you’re going to get the exposure.
The irony, of course, is that there were only two media members at that day's Bucks practice and the other had walked away just before Giannis and I discussed his aversion to one-on-ones – while being one-on-one https://t.co/lBgLmzRKI5
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 7, 2019
“But at the end of the day, it’s not about the media. If you don’t get it done on the court, it’s not going to get done with media. Like, if I don’t come out tomorrow and try to kick some ass and try to get a win and help my team, media is not going to do that for me.”
The 6-foot-11, 242-pound Antetokounmpo said it’s all about maintaining priorities.
“I try to focus on my job, and to finish the season strong, and not try to do (other stuff),” he said. “I don’t get young players, like why they try to allow so many distractions to get in their heads.
“They’re all over the place. SLAM magazine. GQ, whatever. Just stay in your lanes, get your job done, and everything else is going to come.”
The 15th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Antetokounmpo is more than happy to excel and lead his team to wins away from the spotlight other players in the league seem to want.
“I love it,” The Greek Freak said with a smile. “It’s amazing that I can just work in silence. I’m a low-profile guy. I know that being good, having a great team, and winning in this league (means) that attention comes with it, but I’d rather quiet days like this.”
In terms of enjoyment, getting Ws is what matters most to Antetokounmpo.
“I’ll say the same thing I always say — and people look at me crazy — is that we’re having fun,” he said. “Like, we’re working, but we’re not coming in here like, ‘Ah, another day that we’ve got to practice.’
“It’s almost like we’re happy that we’re here.”