Big thanks to Alex Gkoussis for sending us a translated version of the following interview that Giannis Antetokounmpo did with the NBA's Greek website. For more Giannis, be sure to check out ozografos' FanPost translating another interview that Giannis and his brother Thanasis did in Greece.
Giannis,the NBA season is now over. If you coud sum it all up, what would you say?
It was a wonderful season for me. It was fantastic, even better than what I expected. The season started a little bit low-profile for me because I hadn't realized yet where I was, what the team wanted from me. But then the season turned out to be great since my coach showed great trust in me. Our GM believed in me too and so did all of my teammates. So the season ended just great.
The new season is coming and you've obviously started training and getting ready. What do you want to improve in your game?
I try to work on everything. My shooting, my dribbling, my body...everything. I mostly insist on shooting, though.I work on my shooting a little bit more along with my trainer. I don't know what to expect from the new season but I surely want to be more aggressive and do my best.
Having already one year under your belt, do you think that will help you get into the new season with more confidence in comparison with your rookie season?
Definitely, definitely. Having already one year behind me, being experienced, I now know what to expect, it will help me a lot.
What made the biggest impression on you in your first NBA season? What would you say to Thanasis who is now a rookie as far as unexpected difficulties are concerned?
I think the first and most important is travelling. We travel a lot, every other day. We travel right after a game ends. You can't be at home a lot. You are on the road the whole time, which makes it more difficult for you to get a rest. That's what I'd advise Thanasis. To try and get as much rest as possible during travels, and of course to have fun!
You experienced along with Thanasis his NBA draft day. Thanasis has said that for you it was different when you were drafted. People were coming for you, while he had to travel a lot and try to persuade people. How did you experience this draft through Thanasis' eyes?
It was amazing. In my opinion, Thanasis exceeded all expectations. I try to put myself in his shoes, the day I got drafted. With all that buzz around me, how he felt that his brother was an NBA player while he was still in Filathlitikos, trying to take his next step. I am sure it was very stressful for him. I am genuinely proud of Thanasis, the fact that he decided to play in the NBADL in order to try get an NBA spot.
So yeah, the draft night was amazing. I was happy because I saw how much Thanasis wanted it. The whole previous year we would talk about this draft night and what was going to happen. Thank God I was with my family, my younger brothers and we experienced all this together.
Do you think Thanasis will get a spot on the Knicks roster?
I won't say it's a given. His chances are very good though. The Knicks drafted him, I know they have spoken with him and right now do not intend to send him back to NBADL or Europe. But that also depends on his Summer League performance where he will do his best. I think he will compete for a spot.
The Buck selected at #2 a player with a lot of hype around him all season long, Jabari Parker. Had you watched him play in college or even in some Youtube clips?
I didn't really know him. First days of June I learned he was gonna be one of the top picks and that the team was interested in him, so I watched him a little bit. I met him recently, he's a great kid and I also watched him during the workout. He is an amazing player. I think he's gonna have a tremendous career. I am very happy he is a Buck now. I talked to him and told him we re gonna play Summer League Bball together.
How do you envision your cooperation with him on the court?
That we will find out in Summer League, since we'll play together there. He is an excellent shooter and I am a good teammate who likes to distribute the ball. I like passing the ball. I could surely create for him some open shots since I'm long and I will be able to find him. But since he can create not only his own shot, but also for the others, I think he's gonna do the same thing. If he is also interested in the team's greater good, everything is gonna work out.
There is a general hype around the Bucks. That they are a young team which may leave its mark in the East this year. Do you agree? You think the new season is gonna be much better than the one that just finished?
It will be much better. We were able to get some important pieces through the draft and I think the Bucks are gonna make 2 or 3 more moves and, thus, we will have a much better team. And don't forget we got older too,we matured a little bit. Me, Nate, Brandon, Khris and John. I think that getting more experienced and better will help us have good results.
About coach Drew, you heard it when on a flight. You posted a picture of you with him on Facebook, saying that you're thanking him. I imagine you were caught by surprise, just like everyone.
The truth is I got sad because he was my first NBA coach. I wanted to play for him not only his second year, but also the following years of his contract. What can I say? I wish him the best. I will always remember him. I posted this picture because it's from my first game at Madison Square Garden. I remember I had played just four minutes in that game, which is when coach Drew grabbed me, seeing that I was obviously stressed, lost, confused, and told me: "Relax and just play your game." I remember that picture just like I remember that moment, too.
Do you think the arrival of Jason Kidd, one of the league's great point guards whose teams often played fast, transition basketball, is going to lead to the Bucks playing that kind of basketball too,which possibly suits you and Jabari?
Every coach has a different mindset. I am sure this fact is gonna help us because we are a very young team and we like to run the court. That's the style of basketball that I like playing, running the court, so we'll see.
National Greek team chapter. There's the World Championship in August. Do you think about a possible callup?
Of course I do, it would be a great honor for us [Thansis and Giannis] to play for the national team. For every player, especially for me. I want to play in the national team, because it's those moments, you know? You don't play for the contract or for the club. You play for the flag and that's what matters, playing for the flag.
To forget our problems and play like a team. In every club, everyone plays a little bit for himself. So, it would be good to get out of our clubs for a while, go there and play our hearts out for the flag, for the country, do our best.
Have you talked to coach Katsikaris?
We did talk, he told me what he thinks about me, I heard him and we'll just see what happens when he calls me.
Your friends are preparing for Crete [the U-20 Greek team is playing in the European Championships while Giannis will be in Vegas for Summer League]. What do you tell them?
I wish them the best. To play hard and where we failed last year, to succeed this year.