Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t comfortable resting on his laurels as one of the most remarkable success stories in the NBA.
The 28-year-old superstar grew up poor in Athens, selling watches and handbags to help put food on the table for his family. Now, with two MVP awards, an NBA championship and a $228 million contract under his belt, Antetokounmpo says he still feels “desperate” to keep everything he’s earned.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, the Milwaukee Bucks star said that while he’s proud of everything he’s accomplished, he tries not to look at his trophies too often.
“I feel like sometimes looking at [accomplishments from the past] stops you from going out there and chasing and being desperate,” he said. “Why I’m here is because I’m desperate.”
I’m scared. So I f—ing work as hard as I can, because I don’t want to lose this s–t.
Antetokounmpo says the knowledge of how far he’s come helps him continue to dominate the league and compete with players who, in his view, are more talented than he is.
“I’m not as talented as Steph [Curry]. I’m not as talented as [Kevin Durant]. I’m f—ing desperate. I’m obsessed. I’m scared to lose what God has gave me and the life that I’ve provided for my kids and my brothers and for my mom, you know?,” he said. “I’m scared. So I f—ing work as hard as I can, because I don’t want to lose this s–t.”
But it’s not just fear that motivates Antetokounmpo. He told the Athletic that winning the championship in 2021 “was the greatest feeling in my life” because of all the work that went into it.
“I love that feeling of working for eight months in the season, and working your whole life through all these ups and downs,” he said. “Little things add up to that moment.”
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