He just won the MVP award, is the first international player to have a signature shoe released by Nike and is the favorite to win the MVP again, but Giannis is not resting on his laurels.
While launching his shoe, Giannis talked about winning the MVP and said he doesn’t want fans to cheer that to him. He is worried about becoming lazy, and he wants to make sure he stays hungry and improves. How much improvement? According to him, he is at 60% of his maximum.
To be fair, Giannis did talk about it in a way that makes it clear he will always set an unachievable goal, so there is something to chase, something to strive to. He knows saying 60% is a bit absurd. But, the modern NBA is all about spacing and shooting, and his jump shot is his weakest link – or as he would say, biggest room for improvement. Scary as it is if he just became an average shooter that would have an amplifying effect on the rest of his game.
The same way Steph Curry came back from his first MVP season even better and won the first unanimous MVP in history, there is a path for Giannis to improve on an already impressive season. He is also in a situation that makes it possible – Middleton is a max player, but not a superstar, so Giannis is still the single superstar in a league of duos. Not only that but a superstar on a team that is likely to get the no.1 seed.
But, coming from humble beginnings made Giannis aware of how hard is it to get to the place he is in, and he is not taking it for granted. As a kid, Giannis had to share shoes with his brother. One would play the early game and then take the shoes off and give it to the other one to play in. That’s his starting point in life. So having a few extra shoes around is perfectly understandable.
This entire interview makes me believe we still haven’t seen the best of Giannis. He seems so calm and grounded like the MVP isn’t nearly enough for him. I like it.