Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken the league by storm this season, averaging 26.8 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists in the first few games.
The Greek freak has an old school mentality when it comes to rivalries in the NBA, not wanting to show his cars in the off season and maintaining some distance from the rivals all through the season.
Antetokounmpo feels that this way he is able to compete with this opponents better on the court. He does not want that ‘buddy-buddy’ feeling, something that could maybe hamper his competitive instinct whenever he comes up against his ‘buddies’ during the NBA season.
#HBD 🎂 Greek Freak!
At age 18, Giannis Antetokounmpo was 6’9″, 190 lbs & a questionable 15th pick by the Bucks.
At age 24, he’s 6’11”, over 240 lbs & the MVP favorite.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 6, 2018
LeBron and Melo had sent in invites to Antetokounmpo to train together in the off season, but the Greek freak rejected it, as he felt very weird about it.
“I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months,” Antetokounmpo said.
“It feels weird. It doesn’t feel right with me. Like other players, it’s cool for other players, but I don’t. I don’t want to. Other guys do it.” he added.
He emphasised on the fact that he necessarily hated this ‘buddy culture’ and wanted to stay away from it as much as possible.
“I hate it when…” Antetokounmpo said.
“I hate that. I don’t want [opponents] to see me to be buddy-buddy with me.” he added.
— Complex (@Complex) December 8, 2018
Giannis Antetokounmpo rejected invites from LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. 👀 pic.twitter.com/UTQr39lcoz
— theScore (@theScore) December 8, 2018
Moreover, Antetokounmpo also feels that these training sessions during the summer might help other players figure his style out, something that he absolutely does not want.
He came up with a very interesting example of KD and LeBron and how KD used his summer workout regime with Bron to help him figure a way out of defending and working against James on the court.
KD took a lot of LeBron’s thoughts, understood his game from close proximity and used that information against LeBron during games that followed.
Antetokounmpo, apart from that ‘buddy-buddy’ feeling is weary of such a thing happening, if he indulges in practice sessions with his direct rivals.
“I feel like with LeBron and KD [Kevin Durant], KD did that to LeBron,” Antetokounmpo explained.
“Take a lot of his thoughts and use it against him. And that’s what I don’t want guys doing to me.” he added.
That’s a pretty interesting school of thought presented by Antetokounmpo, who wants to keep his cards close to his chest. With the way he is performing this season, it seems like the strategy is working for him.
Would you want rival players to indulge in frequent practice sessions with each other or should they try and stay as far away from each other as possible.