Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the brightest stars the NBA has to offer. He’s a two-time league MVP, NBA Champion, Finals MVP, seven-time All-Star, and All-NBA selection, among many other accolades. You might wonder how a guy who’s accomplished so much before age 30 keeps the fire lit to come back better each year. According to Antetokounmpo, he keeps his edge by not working out with active NBA players in the offseason.
Antetokounmpo is taking the old-school approach to life in the NBA, and clearly, it’s worked in his favor. Having not grown up in the United States and having been subjected to the AAU circuit has probably been a blessing for Antetokounmpo. As he says in the clip, being around people because of his genuine personality, he makes friends quickly. Had he been in the States going through high school and AAU ball, traveling all over the country, and playing with other top talent, his career may have been very different.
This is one situation where being the loner or odd man out is advantageous. We see other NBA players (mainly stars) posting videos on social media during the summer of their workouts with guys who oppose them during the season. Giannis clearly has no time nor the desire to engage in these activities. Some might think it’s lame, but if that keeps him among the top five competitors in the Association, then go for it.
As a five-time All-Defensive team selection and Defensive Player of the Year recipient, Giannis needs some intimidation factor over opponents, especially in the paint. You always want a guy to think twice before going inside. Antetokounmpo also mentioned working out with Hakeem Olajuwon, which more big men should be doing. Olajuwon was a magnificent player and underrated in the conversation of all-time greats at the center position.
However, Giannis chooses to go about his offseason regimen should be applauded because it’s obviously worked to this point. Maybe this will change as he begins to decline well into his 30s, but don’t expect him to participate in a session anytime soon with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or any other big names across the league. It sounds like Antetokounmpo, alright, being the outsider among the superstars of the NBA.