It's not common that an NBA player experiences his third media day before he can legally buy beer. Then again, Giannis Antetokounmpo is anything but common.
Two years after landing in America as a wide-eyed 18-year-old, the Greek Freak was in his element at Bucks media day on Monday. He started his Q&A with a typical Giannis joke -- "You guys take it easy on me, because two months now I spent in Greece and I forgot how to speak English" -- and then breezed through a series of questions about his tweaked shooting mechanics, his experience representing Greece at the EuroBasket and the value of last spring's playoff experience. You get the feeling that he's well aware of the rising expectations for both himself and the team, though at the end of the day it's still the same old Giannis.
As for expectations of his art skills...well, he's still got plenty of work to do there:
Here's the remainder of his Q&A:
On his Eurobasket experience:
"It helped me a lot and it was a great experience. I'm really happy that I was able to represent Greece in the Euro Championship. I learned a lot and by playing seven games in ten nights, it helped me a lot and helped me improve my game."
On his disappointment on losing to Spain:
"A little bit disappointed because I thought we were better than Spain and I don't know what happened that night. What can I say. It's the game of basketball. Sometimes you miss, sometimes you don't. But congratulations to Spain. It feels a lot better to know that you lost from the best team in the tournament at least."
Are you seven foot yet?
"Nahhhh, I think I'm 6'11". Sorry, guys."
Did Eurobasket help you get a little more comfortable offensively?
"For sure, I feel a bit more comfortable. As I said before, that experience helped me a lot. The tournament finished a week ago, so that gets me more ready for training camp."
Who are you looking forward to playing?
"I don't have someone that I'm excited to play. I'm just excited to play with Greg Monroe and Jabari and all the guys we've brought in."
On what he's added this offseason:
"A lot of little things. In the post, with my shot. I tried to improve the technique on my shot. Shoot the ball a little bit higher. When I take the ball, keep it a little higher. Shoot faster. And my body, I didn't try to specifically get bigger, just stronger. Hopefully, all of this will help me get better this season."
Will Jason Kidd let him shoot threes this season?
"Pretty much, I think yeah. I think he's going to allow to shoot threes this year."
What can that do for your game this year?
"I think it'll take my game to the next level by bringing defensive guys so far out there. It should allow me to drive the lane and not just score it, but create for other guys. Try to make my team better. Try to move the ball."
On how he can improve defensively:
"From year one to year two, I improved a lot on the defensive end because I knew where to be and I knew what spot to be on the floor. So, now that I know that, we're going to have the same stuff and I already know the stuff, I just try to improve and try to be better on the defensive end."
Are you frustrated that you can't play in the opener because of what happened in that Bulls series:
"I don't think I'm frustrated. Sure, I wanted to play in the home opener for the Bucks fans in the first game. It might be hard for me to miss it, but what can I say. I have to live with my mistakes. I think not playing in the game is good for me to learn from my mistake. I can punish myself a little bit."
How is this group going to be different? Will the team be even better and more explosive?
"Hopefully. For sure, we're going to be a lot better. The expectations are really high. By practicing hard and competing as hard as possible, we're going to do great. Having Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams being here from day one this season, it should push our team up another level."
Were those two playoff wins big for this franchise?
"For sure. It was big. It was really big. For us, the young guys, most of us hadn't been in the playoffs. It helps a lot in the experience of being there. Hopefully, we're going to practice now in training camp and in the season try to improve our mistakes and try to get better everyday. Then, get to that stage again, try to correct our mistakes, and win a series and go further."
Is that a realistic goal?
"Yeah. For sure, it's a realistic goal."