Giannis Antetokounmpo solidified his legacy in the league this last season. After racking up every individual accomplishment in the NBA, Antetokounmpo won the 2021 NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks.
On top of that, Antetokounmpo also won the Finals MVP trophy for his performance against the Phoenix Suns. Giannis helped the Bucks win their first championship in 50 years, since the days of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Antetokounmpo, at the age of 26, has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the NBA. Giannis is a two-time MVP, a Defensive Player Of The Year, an All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive Player, and an All-Star game MVP.
The player has spoken in the past about how he almost chose to play soccer instead. Growing up in Greece, Antetokounmpo was a big fan of soccer, especially watching his country win the 2004 European Championship.
Antetokounmpo was a big fan of Arsenal player Thierry Henry. Henry is considered a legend in the game, and the two have linked up in the past at an All-Star game. And when Giannis finally won an NBA title, Henry sent him a congratulatory message.
The Milwaukee Bucks posted a video where they showed Giannis the message that Henry sent him. He congratulated him and reminisced about how Antetokounmpo told him he would be a champion one day.
“Hello big man! Just wanted to congratulate you, and say to you FINALLY. I remember you telling me that you were going to be a champ one day and you will do everything in your power to be a champ. Now you’ve done it. I’m sure you have realized it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up and how you stand after you’re up. And you’ve done that, for your city, for your team, and for yourself. They tried to bring you down but you didn't listen to the noise and you finally brought a title back to Milwaukee. So now enjoy it, and see you soon champ. You said it, and you delivered it.”
Giannis was amazed, and spoke about how Henry was his hero growing up and that he wanted to be like him. But he ultimately chose basketball and became incredibly successful.
For a player who came from truly humble beginnings, the 'Greek Freak' has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport. But it is incredible to think that he almost didn't even play basketball.