I have no idea what the title of the above video with Giannis Antetokounmpo says but I’m going to translate it to “Greek Freakonimics and (not so) shocking things NBA players blow money on.” In this video, Giannis is asked, “What was the craziest thing you have seen a teammate do with his money?” He replied with a story about Caron Butler giving him $500 to buy a pack of gum and some Mountain Dew. Giannis also said he’s seen teammates buy a PS4 at every away game and then leave it at the hotel. These type of stories are just as shocking to us as it was to Giannis, who is known to be one of the most “frugal” players in the NBA.
In a past Grantland article about the Greek Freak, it said Giannis once pulled a pair of discarded shoes by Caron Butler out of the trash and said, “What are you doing? These good shoes!’” Brandon Knight said Giannis would carry 6 or 7 boxes of free food from the player’s lounge to his home to save money.
So why is Giannis this way? Here’s an excerpt from The Vertical about his childhood.
He lived through horrific poverty and family illness and the most rudimentary of basketball infrastructures in Greece.
Within the shadows of the Acropolis, out on the sidewalks of downtown Athens, Giannis sold pencils and trinkets and plastic sunglasses. For hours and hours as young teens, Giannis and his old brother, Thanasis, had to push themselves to raise money for the dinner table. On the way home, they stopped at the market and grabbed the essentials. Their father worked two jobs, and their mother had a stretch of illness.
“We would be out on the street together, selling a toy, a watch, something, and we’d raise $10,” Thanasis told me once. “And that is good, because we didn’t starve today. We’re going to go home. We’re going to have something to eat. And it is a good day.”
Monday was also a good day for him when the Bucks pretty much made sure he and his family will always have to something to eat by offering him a 4-year, $100 million extension.
And this is what a 21-year old, 6’11 (really 7’0) $100 million point guard looks like….
Actually that’s just what Giannis looked like after giving his girlfriend a giant teddy bear on her birthday this past weekend.
This is what a 7-foot point guard – worth every penny of a $100 million – looks like…