Giannis, sometimes known as “the Greek freak,” is one of the highest-paid players in the NBA, with an annual salary of $45 million.
He was the first NBA player to finish a regular season in the top 20 in each of the five statistical categories of points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. In 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo won back-to-back NBA MVP Awards, and in 2021, he led the Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years.
Early Years and the Start of a Career
Giannis Antetokounmpo was born on December 6, 1994, in Athens, Greece, to Nigerian immigrants Charles and Veronica as Giannis Adetokunbo. Thanasis and Francis are his older brothers, and Kostas and Alex are his younger siblings. Due to his parents’ inability to find job, he and his brother Thanasis assisted financially by peddling handbags, watches, and sunglasses on the streets. Antetokounmpo began playing basketball in 2007. He was unable to travel outside of Greece for the first 18 years of his life due to his lack of Greek citizenship, leaving him stateless. In May of 2013, just before the NBA draft, he was granted Greek citizenship. Furthermore, Antetokounmpo is a Nigerian citizen.
Antetokounmpo began his professional basketball career in 2011 with Filathlitikos of the Greek B Basket League’s senior men’s club. The next year, he signed a four-year contract with CAI Zaragoza in Spain.
The Milwaukee Bucks are a good place to start.
The Milwaukee Bucks selected Antetokounmpo 15th overall in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft. At the age of 18, he made his NBA debut in October, making him one of the league’s youngest players ever. Antetokounmpo averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 77 appearances during his first season. He was then named to the NBA All-Rookie second team in 2013-14.
The next season, Antetokounmpo had even more success, setting a career best with 27 points and 15 rebounds in a game against the Rockets. He set a new career high with 29 points in a game against the Pelicans later in the season.
In the 2015-16 season, Antetokounmpo continued to improve his game, boosting his scoring average to over 17 points per game. In a game against the Cavaliers, he set a new career high with 33 points, and in December, he had a near triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. In a win over the Lakers in February 2016, he had his first triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Contracts and Earnings
Giannis has numerous big endorsement deals, including a shoe endorsement deal with Nike.
Giannis inked a “long-term” sponsorship deal with Nike in November 2017. Giannis made $35 million in salary and sponsorships between June 2017 and June 2018. He earned $43 million between June 2018 and June 2019. Endorsements bring in at least $10 million per year for him.
Giannis signed a four-year, $100 million contract with the Bucks in September 2016.
Giannis signed a five-year, $228 million contract extension with the Bucks on December 15, 2020. At the time of signing, it was the richest contract in NBA history in terms of cash per season. The contract offers a salary of $45 million each year on average. Giannis will earn $256 million over six seasons if you include the last year of his old contract.
All-Star for the Bucks
Antetokounmpo signed a $100 million, four-year contract extension with the Bucks in September 2016, and then had his breakout season. He scored a career-high 39 points in December and hit his first game-winning buzzer beater in a win over the Knicks in January. Antetokounmpo was named a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad a few weeks later, making him the first Greek NBA All-Star.
He went on to guide the Bucks to an Eastern Conference-best 14-4 record in March, as well as leading the team in each of the five major statistical categories throughout the regular season. Antetokounmpo also made history by becoming the first NBA player to finish in the top 20 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals.
Antetokounmpo had a strong start to the 2017-18 season, scoring 175 points in the first five games alone. In a win over the Trail Blazers, he set a new career best with 44 points, and he averaged nearly 27 points this season. The Bucks then faced the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, where they were ousted in seven games.
NBA MVP and Championship
Antetokounmpo extended his stellar play in the 2018-19 season, leading the Bucks to a seven-game winning streak. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month on many occasions, and he set a new career best with 52 points in March. Antetokounmpo went on to lead the Bucks to the league’s best record of 60-22. After sweeping the Pistons in the second round of the playoffs, the club moved to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were defeated by the Raptors. Antetokounmpo was voted the 2019 NBA MVP in acknowledgment of his achievements. The next year, he received the same honor.
Antetokounmpo re-signed with the Bucks on a five-year, $228 million deal agreement in December 2020. The squad concluded the season with a 46-26 record and the Eastern Conference’s third seed. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a four-game sweep of the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and then to a seven-game series win over the Nets in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Bucks went on to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 47 years. Despite losing the first two games, the squad recovered to win the following four. Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks in the championship game, giving the Bucks their first title since 1971. As a result, he was chosen NBA Finals MVP by a unanimous vote.
National Team of Greece
Antetokounmpo has represented Greece on the international level in addition to the NBA. At the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in 2013, he represented Greece’s Under-20 national team. The following year, he competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the senior men’s Greek national team. After that, he represented Greece at EuroBasket 2015, the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turin in 2016, and the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019.
Antetokounmpo has a son named Liam Charles with his partner Mariah Riddlesprigger. Antetokounmpo currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he and his family moved in early 2014. To help prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his family provided 20,000 masks to individuals in Athens and Zografou, Greece, in 2020.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has a net worth of $70 million as a Greek professional basketball player.