Today, Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. In fact, in the 2020 offseason, the Greek Freak signed the biggest contract in NBA history. But when Giannis entered the league, no one expected him to become the megastar that he is today.
Giannis was selected with the #15 overall pick in the 2013 by the Milwaukee Bucks. At the time, Giannis was a skinny player who relied on his shooting rather than his brute force. Fast forward to 2021, the Greek Freak has a chance to bag in his 3rd consecutive regular season MVP award.
With his on-court success, humongous endorsement deals came along as well. As of now Giannis makes around $28 million per year with just his endorsements according to Forbes. The majority of his endorsement money comes from the shoe deal that he has signed with Nike.
While the original Nike Zoom Freak 2’s were launched back in July 2020. Nike recently launched another version of their popular shoes. They took inspiration from a breathtaking story about Giannis Antetokounmpo from his early days in the league.
The shoes are labeled as “Nike Zoom Freak 2 Taxi”. As the name suggests, the sneakers flaunt a taxi design, but there is much more to it.
The story dates back to the 2014, when the Greek Freak was just a rookie. According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, this is how the incident happened:
“Favorite–of many–anecdotes from @G_ante34 reporting. Early in the season, Giannis took a cab to Western Union to send money home…”
“…after sending all the money he could to Greece, he realized he didn’t have enough left for cab fare. It was game day, so he started running”
“…he got about a mile before a couple stopped, asked if he was the Bucks rookie. He said yes. They picked him up and dropped him at the arena.”
During that time, Giannis was not a household name and he was just getting started in the league. But, today the Greek Freak is in race to become the next face of the league. However, the only thing that lacks in Giannis’ resume is a championship ring.
After signing a humongous extension with the Bucks this offseason, Giannis will be looking forward to collect the only jewel missing from his crown.
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