‘At First I Was Joking’: Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Reacts to Completing Kobe Bryant’s Challenge

Published 07/21/2021, 3:02 AM EDT
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) begins to celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Giannis Antetokounmpo has been one of the most dominant players in the NBA right now. While the ‘Greek Freak’ excelled in regular season, he had his fair share of struggles in the post-season and often failed to reach the promise-land of the NBA Finals.

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But all of it came to an end this post-season as Giannis and Co. made it to the Finals. 3-2 up against the Suns, the Bucks had the perfect opportunity to close out the series. While the rest of the team had inconsistent performances, Giannis put on a show against the Suns.

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With a 50 point performance along with 14 rebounds and 5 blocks, Antetokounmpo put on a show and helped Milwaukee close out the series against the Suns. Given his incredible performance, Giannis was crowned with the Finals MVP trophy as the Bucks won their first title in 50 years.

Giannis Antetokounmpo reveals his feelings after completing challenge from Kobe Bryant

Giannis certainly broke some unbelievable records on his way to his first NBA title. Not only that, the Bucks’ talismanic forward also completed a challenge from late Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant.

Kobe who back in 2017 had challenged the ‘Greek Freak‘ to win the MVP, had up-ed the ante when he challenged Antetokounmpo to win the NBA championship back in 2019.

With his championship, Giannis has now officially completed the challenge by ‘Black Mamba’. The 2-time MVP recently opened up about how he first approached Kobe for the challenge and why he was in disbelief.

“He was sending like challenge to players to Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan and all that. And I was like, yeah, let me just shoot my shot. You know, kind of like what was my challenge. And he was like ‘MVP’, but at first I was like, joking.”

Antetokounmpo later added how Kobe’s challenge motivated him to be dominant and lead his team. “I didn’t think he’s gonna respond to me. But when he did, he made me believe. I’m like, ‘If Kobe Bryant thinks I can, I can do this, I can play in the higher level and lead my team and win MVP’, and I had to do it.”

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The ‘Greek Freak’ certainly answered his critics in some style. With his latest triumph against the Suns, the 26-year-old has won it all with 2-MVP trophies, 1 DPOY, 1 NBA Championship and 1 NBA Finals MVP.

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Given that he is in his prime, it is simply scary to imagine how many accolades Giannis can win in his career. Is the ‘Greek Freak’ the best player in the NBA right now?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1017 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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