Giannis Antetokounmpo has elevated his status in the NBA over the years, asserting dominance on both ends of the floor. He's willed the Milwaukee Bucks into significance, ending a 50-year championship drought for the franchise. While most of the comments have been in admiration for his rise, he's received a fair share of criticism – mostly from ex-NBA players.
Giannis is unfazed by the criticism
Gilbert Arenas recently pinned Antetokounmpo's achievements to his physicality and claimed that the two-time MVP lacks pure basketball knowledge. While Giannis has usually refrained from taking in the social media narratives, he highlighted how it sometimes works as fuel to his engine.
"Does it bother me? I'm not going to lie; it makes me want to work harder," Giannis said after the preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies. "Do I go back home and think about it, and I can't sleep? Not necessarily."
Although the criticism doesn't bother the Greek freak, he contemplated whether he would be the one doing the criticizing in the future.
"But at the end of the day, hey, I don't know, when I'm 45 years old, 50 years old, I might be, you know, a little bit bitter, too. I might be seeing, you know, this 20-year-old making, signing a three-year 900 million. … Maybe, I don't know, but I don't think so," Giannis added.
I want to be like Tim Duncan when I retire
Historically, many NBA players have got into a career on the professional side of the league – continuing to remain in the public eye. Players like Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kendrick Perkins – to name a few – are now analysts who actively voice their opinion. However, Giannis doesn't see a future like that for himself.
"When I retire from this game, I want to disappear," Giannis said. "I want to go somewhere that they will not know me. I went to Sweden two years ago; nobody knew me."
Giannis will soon start his 10th regular season in the NBA, and "The Greek Freak" is poised to further his development. Whether he remains away from the public eye like Tim Duncan or not, he can benefit from adopting a little bit of 'The Big Fundamental's' style.