After successfully reaching the mountaintop in basketball, Giannis Antetokounmpo sounds ready to conquer a different sport next.
The Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning Finals MVP tweeted on Tuesday that he had taken up a new sport for the first time — paddle tennis.
Paddle tennis is similar to regular tennis but has some slight differences, including a smaller court and a lower net. Antetokounmpo added that he was thinking about installing a paddle tennis court in his backyard.
The new sport could help Antetokounmpo with his agility and his reaction time as he looks to defend Milwaukee’s NBA title next season. We also know for a fact that the 26-year-old is an enthusiast of many different sports.
Drake’s new album “Certified Lover Boy” is full of incredible moments, and his shoutout to one basketball superstar is definitely among them. But the inspiration behind the shoutout may surprise you.
The Canadian rapper showed some love to Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on his song “7am on Bridle Path.” A line on the first verse of the track went, “Could at least keep it a buck like Antetokounmpo. I made north of the border like Vito Rizzuto.”
The shoutout led many to recall a tweet that went viral after Antetokounmpo and the Bucks won the NBA championship in July. The tweet read, “Drake working Antetokounmpo into a line is gonna be tricky but he’ll figure out something.” After ESPN reposted the tweet on Instagram this week, Drake himself replied by saying, “Only did it cause of this tweet.”
Drake is a superfan of the rival Toronto Raptors and has even served as their “global ambassador” since 2013. But he is still close with several top NBA stars regardless of their team. The reigning Finals MVP Antetokounmpo is not even the only one who is featured on Drake’s new album.
The Antetokounmpo family may be close to pulling off what LaVar Ball couldn’t — getting three brothers on the same NBA team.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ official Instagram page posted a series of pictures of their players shooting around in the gym Thursday. Included in the post was Alex Antetokounmpo, the youngest brother of reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks even tagged Alex, who was wearing Milwaukee gear in the post. That prompted speculation that the Bucks could be on the verge of signing Alex.
The 20-year-old Alex, a 6-foot-8 forward, played professionally in Spain last season. He was not picked in this year’s NBA Draft but proceeded to join the Sacramento Kings for Summer League. Alex was repping the Kings on social media as recently as a week ago.
In addition to middle brother Giannis, the Bucks already have second-oldest Antetokounmpo brother Thanasis, who returned to the team on a two-year contract this summer. Both players won the 2021 NBA title with Milwaukee. Kostas Antetokounmpo, the second-youngest brother, also won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 but now plays in France. Meanwhile, eldest Antetokounmpo brother Francis is the only one of them who is not a professional basketball player. He has played soccer professionally though.
NBA teams can carry up to 20 players on their roster through training camp as well as the preseason. The Bucks in particular still have one open two-way contract spot. Signing Alex would bring them one step closer to fulfilling Giannis’ well-known dream of playing with all of his brothers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was hilariously roasted by his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger in a comment on a photo he shared on Instagram Sunday.
Giannis posted a photo of himself cheesing big time while chilling on the couch. The photo had major “championship vibes” following Antetokounmpo winning his first NBA championship. Fans loved seeing him so happy and seemingly carefree.
“What’s up people?!” Antetokounmpo wrote as his caption, with two laughing emojis.
Well, the fun didn’t last long. Mariah killed the vibe with a hilarious comment. She wrote back and said “our son!” to Giannis, telling him it was time to change the diaper.
“Our son! It’s your turn to change his diaper,” she wrote.
Giannis then wrote back to her, telling her to get off of his Instagram page.
That was a funny exchange.
The two have produced some other viral moments, such as when Riddlesprigger shared she was a fan of a different NBA team.
Giannis and Mariah’s son Liam was born in Feb. 2020. They have another child on the way.
Giannis Antetokounmpo helped bring a championship to Milwaukee when he led the Bucks to an NBA title this year, and the two-time NBA MVP is now invested in another one of the city’s pro teams doing the same.
Antetokounmpo is in the process of purchasing an ownership stake in the Brewers, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports.
As Passan noted, Giannis joining the Brewers’ ownership group is similar to when Patrick Mahomes became a part-owner of the Kansas City Royals last year.
Antetokounmpo has been loyal to Milwaukee and took pride in winning a title with the Bucks. He said immediately after the NBA Finals that he is proud of the fact that he won with the team that drafted him and did not leave to join a super-team.
The day after the Bucks won the title, Giannis made an impromptu visit to the Chick-fil-A drive-thru and even let a fan touch the Larry O’Brien trophy. To say that he is a legend in Milwaukee would be an understatement, which is why the Brewers are likely thrilled to have him on board.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s summer to remember continues.
The Milwaukee Bucks star received a great surprise this week when the team recruited Thierry Henry to give him a congratulatory message. The French soccer legend was Antetokounmpo’s childhood hero growing up.
Check out Henry’s message as well as Antetokounmpo’s awesome reaction:
“I wanted to be him growing up, when I was younger because my dad was playing soccer,” said Antetokounmpo. “I wanted to be him so so bad. But I fell in love with basketball. But this message meant a lot to me, from him.
“Man, a message like this, coming from a legend?” he added. “That’s big, that’s big-time. Thierry, thank you so much if you’re watching this video. Thank you.”
The reigning Finals MVP Antetokounmpo has said before that soccer was his first love growing up. He even showed off his soccer skills in the middle of a playoff game this past season.
Henry’s message is just the latest in a summer of cool viral moments for Antetokounmpo after winning his first NBA championship with the Bucks.
Shaquille O’Neal gave Giannis Antetokounmpo the ultimate honor via Instagram on Saturday.
The Big Fella shared a graphic on his Instagram account that compared his career stats with Giannis’ through age 26. Antetokounmpo compares quite well with O’Neal.
O’Neal even said in his post that Giannis “is a bad boy call him Superman just call me Shaq.”
Shaq has been extremely protective of his “Superman” nickname throughout his career. He has even put down Dwight Howard over it.
For him to give it to Antetokounmpo shows how much he respects the Milwaukee Bucks star. It probably helps that Giannis isn’t a center, because O’Neal seems to really get protective over fellow big men.
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took the unprecedented step of speaking to the Milwaukee Bucks after they defeated him in the NBA Finals. That came at the invitation of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who explained his reasoning in an interview.
Giannis told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that Williams wanted to talk to the Bucks, but didn’t want to interrupt the celebration. Antetokounmpo said he felt it was the “right thing to do” to give Williams the opportunity.
“I felt like the right thing to do was to take him in the locker room and allow him to talk to the team because he wanted to talk to the team but he didn’t want to stop the celebration,” Antetokounmpo said. “I walked in with him in the locker room, had the people stop the music, stop the champagne. He was able to talk to the team and congratulate us. We congratulated him too and wished him luck, and I told him I feel like there’s a good chance we might run it back next year.”
You can see the video of Williams speaking to Bucks players by clicking here.
It’s an incredibly classy gesture by two people who certainly didn’t have to do what they did. It also demonstrates the obvious mutual respect between the two sides. Williams has clearly won the respect of his players, and it certainly looks like he’s won over opponents as well.
Shaquille O’Neal was certainly happy to see a new NBA champion get crowned who was not named Dwight Howard.
O’Neal took to Instagram this week to praise Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks for winning the title. The retired Hall of Famer said that there was “only one Superman now” and that was Antetokounmpo.
A user in the comments noted how surprising it was to see O’Neal, who is usually very territorial and critical of today’s stars, crown someone else as “Superman,” his longtime nickname. O’Neal replied back, saying of Antetokounmpo, “Yes I did he earned it unlike some people.”
O’Neal’s comment is a very obvious dig at Howard, who essentially gave himself the “Superman” nickname many years ago. The two have had a longstanding beef that resurfaced last year when Howard’s Los Angeles Lakers won the championship. O’Neal clowned Howard for celebrating so hard despite having a minimal role.
As for Antetokounmpo, his 50-point, 14-rebound, five-block performance in the title-clinching win was certainly reminiscent of O’Neal. At least when it comes to him, O’Neal is more than happy to give credit where credit is due.
It’s safe to say Giannis Antetokounmpo shut down his doubters with his dominant NBA Finals performance, and a victory lap is warranted.
Antetokounmpo’s girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger is quite happy to take that victory lap. One of her targets was ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who has repeatedly called Giannis a “Robin” compared to Khris Middleton’s “Batman.” The criticism from Perkins is that Giannis prefers to let Middleton handle closer duties in crunch time.
After Giannis dropped a Batman-like 50 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 6 clincher, Riddlesprigger indicated that she’s been paying attention to the criticism. She shaded Perkins on Twitter by celebrating Giannis’ accomplishment, concluding the tweet with the phrase “carry on,” which is the same phrase Perkins ends many of his opinionated tweets with.
Giannis appeared to be a fan of the approach.
Perkins deserved to get roasted for that take. It was bad even before Giannis dominated the Finals, and his MVP performance just made Perkins look even sillier. It’s no wonder another NBA player has publicly referred to Perkins as a “clown” before with takes like that one.