Giannis Antetokounmpo said on Tuesday that he is not prepared to “Americanize” in order to become the NBA’s prime representative.
The Greek superstar has blossomed into one of the most dominant players in basketball. As LeBron James is now well into his mid-thirties, suggestions have surfaced that the 24-year-old will eventually take the place of the Los Angeles Lakers star as the undisputed face of the NBA.
However, when speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the “Greek Freak” said he has cultural reservations about what that might entail.
“Lately, people have told me… the closest people, you know, my family, my girlfriend, my mom, my brothers, people say that I cannot be the face of the league because I’m not American, I don’t have the American culture in me.
“I sat back and thought about that. Should I have a little bit more American swag, should I come with a suit to the game, should I be more Americanized? But, man, if I can’t be the face of the league being me, I don’t want to be the face of the league. That’s pretty much it,” the basketballl star explained.
Antetokounmpo was born in Athens to Nigerian parents. He announced in February that he will play for Greece at this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.
“Obviously, I am going to have kids that are going to grow up in the U.S., but one day I hope they can go back (to Greece) and visit and see where I grew up, the playground I was playing in,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.