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Nike says Giannis Antetokounmpo’s shoe is largest sneaker launch in history

Vincent Frank
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is an international sensation.

Having ascended up the ranks from a wide-eyed rookie back in 2013-14, the Greece native is now one of the most recognizable faces in the basketball world.

That’s now made it over to the massive market that is basketball’s shoe community. According to Nike CEO Mark Parker, Giannis’ Air Zoom signature line is the best-selling sneaker launch in the history of the company.

“In performance product, we saw very strong momentum in basketball internationally this quarter especially with the AlphaDunk. To be honest, we’re excited about the long-term potential of this signature line,” the CEO said in a conference call recently. “Not only did the Zoom Freak 1 become the largest initial signature launch in NIKE basketball history, its apparel line sold out quickly as well with the Freak T-shirt becoming the top selling apparel item on Nike.com.”

Given how Michael Jordan popularized the Nike brand in the 1980s and the presence of LeBron James as a top pitch man, this is some absurd stuff.

It must be noted that the Greek Freak does have more of an international feel to him. It extends beyond North American borders to Western Europe, Eastern Europe and even Asia. The only NBA star, past or present, that can be compared to that wide reach is Jordan himself.

It’s still rather stunning to see how much Giannis has made a name for himself, both on and off the court.