Giannis Antetokounmpo Refused $300,000 for His Mother

Published 08/23/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with the NBA Finals MVP Trophy following the game against the Phoenix Suns following game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Giannis Antetokounmpo won everyone’s heart when he decided to resign with Milwaukee. And it paid off, for he went on to lift the championship this year. Despite battling hardships, he persevered and played dominating basketball.

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Now, the Freak has once again shined in everyone’s eyes. In his new book, ‘Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP,’ he goes over his life before the NBA. It also reflects on a time when a young Giannis refused to take up a big opportunity because his family could not come with him.

Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) accepts the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award from NBA commissioner Adam Silver after game six of the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Giannis Antetokounmpo a true Family Man

We have seen repeatedly that family always comes first for Giannis. Likewise, at the tender age of 17, Antetokounmpo had the chance to play in Spain. But he refused the offer.

Why, you might ask?

Well, the teenage basketball player rejected the $300,000 offer because he couldn’t bring his family with him.

His book shows how heartbroken he was when he learned his family could not join him. When the agent told him that he should go alone, Giannis tore up the contract and burst into tears. He couldn’t bear the thought of not having his family with him.

When the agent asked why he wanted his mother with him, he gave a heartfelt response. Antetokounmpo said: “You think now that I’ve got money, I will forget about my mother and family? You must never forget that.”

Even today, Giannis stays humble despite having all that he wants. He was even willing to go to his brother, Thanasis, after winning the finals.

Where did the ‘Greek Freak’ play before the NBA?

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Since he rejected Spain, he played in Greece for the Filathlitikos. He began playing for their senior team in the semi-pro Greek B Basket League in 2011.

Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) celebrate after winning game six of the 2021 NBA Finals and the championship against the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While he did sign a four-year deal with Spanish Club, CAI Zaragoza, he never played for them. This is because the Milwaukee Bucks picked him up with the 15th pick in the 2013 draft. Since then, Antetokounmpo has become a star in the NBA.

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The 26 YO already has a stacked resume. He is one of just three players to win Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in the same season. Moreover, Giannis even received the honors of Finals MVP, averaging 35 points, 13 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game.

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Anuj Talwalkar

295 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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