Giannis Antetokounmpo learned a lot from Kobe Bryant, training with the Black Mamba on his way to becoming a 2x NBA MVP and champion.
The Greek player had to work hard to reach this point, and Kobe helped him get better and improve his game. Giannis is a student of the game, and Bryant saw it firsthand when the 26-year-old started taking notes before and after practicing with the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
Two years ago, in an interview with The Athletic, Kobe talked about Giannis' mentality when they first linked up. The Black Mamba noticed that the Milwaukee Bucks star just wanted to get better, listening to every piece of advice Kobe offered.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a leading candidate to win league MVP. What are your impressions of the “Greek Freak” and does his focus and intensity remind you of yourself?
Giannis came to work out with me this summer and he showed up one-and-a-half hours early. We talked for 20 minutes before we worked out and he whips out a notepad. What the … he starts taking down notes. ‘What about the footwork here? What about the coverage here?’ And he’s writing them down.
After practice same thing; he sits down, and we talked for like an hour. We talked about coverages and defensive match-ups that gave him problems. He just sat there and took notes. And he studied and studied so I’m not surprised at what he’s doing.
He just has the mentality of he’s just getting better all the time. He’s just scratching the surface.
All that hard work, all that hours of study, paid off this season. The Greek Freak is now an NBA champion after beating the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 Finals. He came a long way since his childhood and now is at the top of the world.
It's been quite a journey for Giannis, and he must be happy things worked this way. He's only 26 and hungry to add more championships to his already impressive resumé.
The Milwaukee Bucks really found a gem in this guy, and he's just entering his prime years. That idea should scare the rest of the teams in the association.