I'll say I was the first to doubt the Milwaukee Bucks when they drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo in the middle of the first round. He looked like a second-round talent at best, a Bruno Caboclo-kind of a guy who was 'two years away from being two years away.'
I can take comfort in the fact that Giannis didn't only make me look like a fool. He made the whole basketball world swallow their words and rose to become one of the greatest two-way players of the past three decades or so.
While naturally gifted and athletically impressive, Giannis' relentless work ethic is what made him the player he is nowadays. His determination to be great no matter what turned him into a superstar. That's why he believes there are some similarities between Kobe Bryant and himself.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Thinks He's Similar To Kobe Bryant
“I will never say this, I will never disrespect the name of the great Kobe. I don’t like mentioning him,” Giannis said. “I feel like he should be mentioned, should never be forgotten. But I don’t like mentioning his name to bring attention to the conversation that we are about to have. I wasn’t close to him. I wasn’t this with him or that with him. But I would say this, in some areas of his mindset, I think we’re very similar.”
“I might not be as talented as him, but when we’re talking about a guy that worked extremely hard from his first day until he retired," the Greek Freak explained. "A guy that plays to win, a guy that pushes himself to the limit, a guy that has a killer mentality when he steps on the court. It’s almost like having — I think he had two personalities. Like when we were on the sideline and we were talking and I was taking notes, laughing smiling, joking around, talking. But when we stepped on the court, It was like motherf—er didn’t even know me. ‘I thought you were like my friend.’”
Giannis sure has a valid point right there. He's never been the more talented or even skilled player, basketball-wise. But he's worked tirelessly on his craft to fix those flaws and become one of the best players in the world.
The Greek Freak also silenced his doubters and proved to be like the players of old, staying in a small market team and leading them to their first NBA championship in five decades. That's some good-old Mamba Mentality right there.