Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed he gets tired from all the games during the annual schedule and admitted basketball is more difficult to play in Europe than in the NBA.
Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke to the press at the Milwaukee Bucks media day yesterday. Greece’s Freek is entering his 10th season in the NBA and heading straight into the new year after representing Greece in EuroBasket 2022.
Discussing the experience, Giannis admitted he was getting tired due to the schedule of playing both domestically and internationally.
“It’s a lot, you burn out a bit,” said the player. “Having played a lot of basketball over the last few years, you need to take a break not only physically but also mentally – to get away from the game and spend some quality time with your family, doing what you love and just being on the Sit on the couch and eat Doritos, and be a couch potato. That’s what you need to be great. It sounds bad, but you need it.”
Greece were eliminated by eventual third-placed Germany in the EuroBasket quarter-finals, but Giannis relished the experience. With Greece failing to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it was the first time Antetokounmpo had played for his home country in three years.
“It was a great experience representing my country, I had fun. It was the first time I saw committed people. People had hope, basketball was coming back to Greece even though we were just one game behind on medals,” said the Greek freak. “I felt like people had hope and that was the most amazing thing. People followed us all over the street and cheered us, cheered the flag.”
“Representing your national team is difficult, it’s not easy. It’s a flag, you represent the whole country. I think 6 or 7 million people saw the games we played when in Greece there are 10 and a half million people , that’s great . Of course I’m a bit tired physically and mentally, but I’m looking forward to the season,” he said. “This summer has been fun.”
Giannis was selected to the All-EuroBasket team even though his team did not participate in the final stages of the tournament. The Greek freak averaged 29.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists for Greece. Still, he admits it was a lot harder than in the NBA, similar to what Luka Doncic said a few months ago.
“The game in Europe is much more difficult than the game in the NBA,” he said. “The talent in the NBA is obviously higher. I think it’s more intense over there. People pick you up all over the place, the lanes are closing and it’s a lot more physical. I don’t know if they are more physical because you have less talent.”
“For a kid like me who came out of nowhere, I think the NBA has spoiled me a bit,” Giannis explained. “When you go abroad, things are different. Things are simple here, it doesn’t challenge you. We are more than blessed.”
Interview by Giannis Antetokounmpo at Media Day: