Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will face the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. One would assume that the two-time MVP already has a game plan to break the Celtics' stifling defense. Yet, in a strange interview, Antetokounmpo claimed he hadn't seen the Celtics play.
Not for entertainment
Most NBA players have professed their undying love for the game. Some even get the chills when they hear the ball bounce off the floor or when they get their hands on a basketball after a long drought. Giannis is different. He doesn't think or even watch the game in his free time. And this is the main reason why he didn't see how the Celtics dismantled Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.
"I don't watch basketball. I haven't watched Boston. No, I'm being serious. I don't watch basketball. I get too intense. I start sweating and stuff. My body gets tensed up. I'm sitting with my kids and I'm like, 'Breathe.' I can't watch basketball, so I haven't watched them. I don't know what they've done, but I know that's the team we're playing. I heard the guys talking about it in the locker room. So, I know they've been playing very good,"
Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBC Sports.
The one-time DPOY had to confirm the Celtics booted out the Nets in four games. All he knows is that the Ime Udoka-coached squad is a terrific team on both ends of the floor. For the Bucks to oust them, every player has to do their job well.
"I know they swept Brooklyn. Right? They swept Brooklyn? I know they're a very good team. Great young players. Players that can score the ball, they play hard defensively. It's going to be a nice series. We've gotta do it as a team."
Giannis' mind games
We could believe Antetokounmpo that he gets the jitters when he watches a game. Or we could remind ourselves not too long ago when he played some mind games to get ahead of the competition.
When the NBA had to shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic, Antetokounmpo said he didn't have access to a basketball court and therefore had no way of practicing his stroke. All he had was basic gym equipment to keep in shape. But when the season resumed in July in the Orlando bubble, Antetokounmpo unveiled the truth.
"Anybody out there that thought I didn't have access to a gym, they don't even know me," Antetokounmpo said, laughing. "So, I just said that to try to get a little bit ahead of the competition," Giannis said, per ESPN.
From the looks of it, feigning weakness or ignorance is Antetokounmpo's go-to play. He wants to be looked down up or underestimated by his foes. Once the ball goes up in the air, Antetokounmpo will reveal his true colors. The Celtics better be ready.