What can Giannis Antitokoumbo have in common with … Donald Trump, Angela Merkel or the President of Brazil Zaire Bolsonaro? None? And … but they have! They are on the same list of the famous “TIME” magazine, with the 100 most influential people in the world, in the year 2020!
The six-time NBA champion and six-time MVP of the world’s top basketball league, the well-known and not exceptional Karim Abdul-Jabbar, signs the relevant text in “TIME” magazine about the Bucks superstar referring to the role of “Greek Freak” in the decision of the team of Milwaukee not to go down for the 5th game of the play offs against the Orlando Magic.
Next to Giannis Antitokoumbo, from the field of sports, are, among others, the now NBA veteran Dwayne Wade, the British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and the first Asian tennis player to be ranked No. 1 at the top of the world single women, Naomi Osaka.
Karim Abdul-Jabbar writes about Giannis Antitokoumbo:
Paul Simon sang that “every generation throws a hero in the pop charts”. The same goes for sports. Each generation finds an athlete who embodies the quality traits we would all like to have: dedication, concentration, great athleticism and grace under pressure.
Giannis Antetokounbo, who just won the second consecutive MVP award, has it all and more. When you watch him fight, you see not only what he is, but also what is possible. There is a secret quality that makes the hearts of the fans beat faster when they see this man walking on the floor. The true hero of sports makes our bones vibrate, our skin wrinkle waiting to become an eyewitness of greatness.
I have no doubt that John will extend the records he holds – he already holds the highest’s Player Efficiency Rating for a season, combining all the different areas of a player’s statistics, in NBA history – which statistics they will probably not be able to “catch” the next generations.
But a sports hero is much more than a record. John is an example because he came forward for what he believes. After leading the Bucks to the playoffs, he and his team protested the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in their state by refusing to fight, causing a wave of strikes and postponements throughout the NBA.
I once asked Giannis what his name means and he told me that it means “the crown has arrived.” He definitely arrived … “.
The Milwaukee Bucks congratulated Giannis Antitokoumbo for his presence in the 100 most influential personalities according to “TIME” magazine for the year 2020.