Giannis Antetokounmpo just can't stop winning titles and honors – a list that continues to grow as this week GQ named The Greek Freak its Athlete of the Year for 2021.
Giannis joins rapper Lil Nas X and "Spider-Man" star Tom Holland" on the cover of the popular magazine's Men of the Year issues, complete with a newly published profile from Zach Baron that's a must-read, giving a deeper look off the court with Milwaukee's favorite man.
The profile avoids telling the usual Giannis origin stories already well told – first here back when he was first drafted, now getting told again in an upcoming Disney+ movie. Instead of focusing on the well-known past, the piece dives into Giannis' present and future, talking about what fatherhood means to the sports superstar, working on his mental health and the toll the quest for greatness can require, and how he refuses to get caught up in the excess of fame – even if that isolates him from those beyond his family.
Yet even when he comes off as a little elusive, it all arrives at the same time with the usual Giannis honest, innocent charm – like how he giddily talks about all of the autographed jerseys he's earned from his fellow NBA superstars (despite how "un-cool" or "not tough enough" that might make him seem), how he's stocking up a room of unworn Nike shoes as an insurance policy and how he can't stop swearing throughout the interview despite himself. (Stars: They're just like us!) He's almost certainly the only person who can talk about all of his brands and refusing to say product names without getting paid, yet still be an earnest delight.
The only part I didn't like in the piece? The part where he talks about potentially leaving Milwaukee one day.
"'One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did,' he told me. 'It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What’s the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.' It’s not that he doesn’t love Milwaukee, he said. But he was always wary of things becoming too easy. 'Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us—for now,' Giannis said. 'In two years, that might change. I’m being totally honest with you. I’m always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible.'
"Did this mean he was thinking about…leaving? I asked his agent.
"'I don’t think it’s, ‘I’m thinking about leaving the Bucks,' Saratsis told me. 'But I think he’s genuinely like: ‘Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let’s repeat.’ But what happens if you do repeat? What’s the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything,' Saratsis said. 'So sometimes you’re going to have to manufacture what those challenges are.'"
Well, I'm sure all the sports hot-takers will use that passage responsibly and we won't have to hear about Giannis speculation every month for the next two years ... again.
Anyways, the piece is great, Giannis is great and reading about that time WE WON THE FREAKING NBA FINALS will never not be great. The entire profile can be found here, along with some great photos from his cover photoshoot as the GQ Athlete of the Year. And as for seeing him on the court, the Bucks will be back in action, hoping to get back to their winning ways at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.