Giannis Antetokounmpo explains why he is fine with fans selling autographed gear
One thing many professional athletes have to deal with is the fact that many of the people asking them for autographs will turn around and sell what they get signed.
This is a frustration for many stars, but Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is not one of them, saying he signs items because “that used to be me.”
“You can just never forget where you came from,” Antetokounmpo told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “I know that they’re going to go out there and they’re going to sell it, but I used to be that little kid or that little guy that was selling stuff in the street.
“So, just growing up and going through life and how tough life was for me and my family, I’m always going to stay humble. Even now, it doesn’t really matter if I’ve got a $100 million contract or a $100 million Nike contract, it’s the way I grew up, it’s the way I go through life. I’m not changing.”
Growing up in Greece, Antetokounmpo’s family had little, so he resorted to selling products on the streets to help fulfill their needs.
“I was young,” Antetokounmpo said. “I was selling stuff probably since I could remember, like 6 or 7 years old. I was always out there helping my mom and dad sell watches, glasses, CDs, DVDs, stuff like that. Whatever we could put our hands on. I did it until I was around 17. But I was just doing it because I had to. There was no other option. If we didn’t sell that night, we wouldn’t have food. Or if we sold, we’d have to think if we’re going to pay the rent or buy some food. It wasn’t easy. And that’s something that wasn’t long ago. Like five years ago, six years ago; it’s not easy to forget.
“But those moments back then, they were beautiful, man. Going through the struggle and making it out of it and seeing your family doing good now, it’s unbelievable. I remember those moments and I’m happy I went through those times.”
Giannis is all about the fans. Sometimes it’s for other reasons, but he’s still a generous guy, and it comes from how he was raised and grew up.