Many people still get Giannis Antetokounmpo's name wrong in spelling and pronunciation. Little do they know that The Greek Freak used to have a slightly shorter name before entering the NBA.
Giannis' old name
Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Greece and carried his Nigerian last name Adetokunmbo. Both of his parents were Nigerian immigrants. Once he decided to enter the NBA, the Greek government tried to "Greekify" his name and changed the letter D to NT because there was no D in the Greek alphabet. Here's how Tas Melas of No Dunks Inc explained the changes.
"The D became NT bc there is no D in the Greek alphabet, but, N and T combined make a D sound. Delta is like the th in leather. It's Thelta. +1
Then that U … No U sound with one letter in Greek but OU does. +2.
Then the B … there is no Greek B? What about beta? It makes a v sound but m-p combine to sound like buh. Beta is actually veeta in Greek.+3"
It may have been just a few minor changes, but this could still pose a problem for outsiders looking in. Adetokunmbo is shorter by two letters when compared to Antetokounmpo, but the latter is easier to pronounce.
Pledging allegiance to the Greek team
Giannis Antetokounmpo has remained loyal to the Greek national team. Despite having the luxury of choosing between Greece and Nigeria, the Greek Freak decided to suit up for team "Hellas." Joel Embiid shifted his allegiance to the French national team despite having roots in Cameroon. The soonest the Philadelphia star could play for France would be in the 2024 Olympics, where he could play alongside Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama.
Going back to Giannis, he publicly expressed the desire to remain in Milwaukee forever in 2015. But who knows what the future holds? For now, he remains a player for the Greek national team and Milwaukee Bucks, and both squads are reaping the benefits of having Antetokounmpo leading the way.