Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis keen to play in India
Known for his speed, strength, and ball-handling, Giannis is currently one of NBA's most dominant players, who also guided the Bucks to a historic second NBA crown last year, 50 years after they won their first in 1971.
Even though the Milwaukee Bucks lost, their star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo—the biggest name to come down here for the NBA international pre-season games—was keen to discuss ways to increase the reach of the league and game to various corners of the world.
In the United Arab Emirates for two pre-season games, the 27-year-old Greek said he is also eager to play in India.
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Asked to name two regions where he would like to play the pre-season games, Giannis said: “I have played in London, Paris, playing the first time in Abu Dhabi but I’ve got to think about this (question)... I have never played in China, so maybe Shanghai or Beijing. That would be a fun experience. Maybe somewhere in India to just try to expand the game as much as possible, try to make it global and reach places it has never reached earlier, to people who love basketball. We just got to present it and create more fans.”
The Bucks lost 113-123 to Atlanta Hawks late on Thursday in the first of the two pre-season games at the Etihad Arena here with the second and final contest scheduled on Saturday.
Known for his speed, strength, and ball-handling skills, Giannis is currently one of NBA's most dominant players, who also guided the Bucks to a historic second NBA crown last year, 50 years after they won their first in 1971. He was also named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Finals.
The 2022-23 season will start on October 18 with the two-time NBA MVP saying there are five-six teams that will be vying for the championship this time around.
“Usually there are 5-6 teams every year that have a chance to win a championship like (reigning champions) Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns. There are always some teams that have a realistic chance to win the championship,” said Giannis, on whose life was based the 2022 biopic ‘Rise’.
The 6 ft, 11 inches tall hoopster won consecutive NBA MVP awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in history to win two MVPs before turning 26.
“You start to think that you can be one of those teams. If you can, you feel good about your chances to win a championship. But at the end of the day our number one goal is to get better, number two goal is to improve the team and number three is the championship,” concluded Giannis.