Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have taken over the Eastern Conference this season with the best record by far of all 30 teams in the league.
Although the Bucks superstar may be on track for his first ever MVP award, it’s been noted that he isn’t exactly social with fellow competitors and has followed in the steps of two all-time legends of the game, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant.
Antetokounmpo recently sat down with Adrian Wojnarowski where he was asked why he doesn’t have many close friends unlike other superstars in the league.
“I don’t know, was Kobe ever close with his [opponents],” Antetokounmpo said. “Was Kevin Garnett every close with the guys he played against? Was Jordan? I think it’s just being competitive. If I know I’m going to play against them and I’m going to see them in the playoffs or see them for many more years to come, I try to stay away and not build a lot of relationships, because I know that when I get on the court I’m going to go 100 percent. Maybe if I have a good relationship with somebody he might expect me to go 50 percent or take it easy on him. I don’t want anything holding me back out there.”
There’s certainly quite a difference between eras when it comes to being friendly with the competition, though players such as LeBron James, the modern day era players are more connected with each other from opposing teams.
Sometimes it just depends on the individual themselves, some players can have that friendship but be able to switch it on and off depending when they’re on the court. There are others such as Giannis where it’s harder to have that relationship while competing against them at the elite level, everyone is different.
For the Milwaukee Bucks and their MVP favorite, a playoffs series is approaching and a genuine chance at a championship awaits them with the Eastern Conference without a LeBron James team for the first time since his arrival.