Giannis Antetokounmpo made a tremendous statement with his 2018-19 NBA season, earning NBA MVP honors while establishing himself as one of the game’s greatest.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Giannis made it clear that there is something he desires far more than the NBA’s highest individual honor: “I would exchange the MVP title for the gold medal in China,” he said, per FIBA Basketball.
Antetokounmpo is set to compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup with his native Greek National Team. Winning the title with this squad would be extremely special for the 24-year-old, who is already a national icon in Greece.
“I always feel something special when playing for the national team,” he explained. “When you are starting the tournament and listening to the national anthem, the emotions can’t be described. After the first basket, the first plays, it is an amazing experience and every time I feel as proud as the first time. The feeling of winning with the national team is incredible, and I have said before that I will always be part of the team, as long as I am healthy like this summer.”
Giannis will attempt to win gold with two of his brothers as well, which is a pretty incredible storyline as we prepare for the World Cup.
“We’re just trying to encourage each other and get better,” Giannis shared. “It is an incredible feeling that all three of us are together. We have worked very hard to get here and to achieve this. That’s why I know that our mother is proud, as is our father, who I’m sure is watching us from the heavens.”
If Giannis is able to lead Greece to gold, then it would be his biggest accomplishment to date, to be sure.