Pacland's Philippine Boxing Forum

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Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:03 pm ]

I'm just curious about this guy.
He's called "The Greek Freak".
Let's start tracking his NBA career now...

Author:  bigatooth [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:05 pm ]

WTF!.... parang idol japhet ang sasapitin ng batang to :lol:

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:05 pm ]

From street vendor to surging NBA player, Greek Freak living the American dream

By Adrian Wojnarowski
March 18, 2014 10:50 AM

Yahoo Sports

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. – Within the walls of his three-bedroom apartment, Giannis Antetokounmpo had come to combat the beginnings of a long winter's loneliness with the preferred passage of untold young NBA players: PlayStation 4. Thousands upon thousands of hours are unapologetically consumed in the mesmerizing grasp of the flickering images on screen, and perhaps few hands so enormous had ever wrapped themselves around the game's controls.

The cold winds had come sweeping across Lake Michigan, colliding into glass doors on a balcony that belongs to the 19-year-old phenom decreed as the Greek Freak. The solitude and dull drone of those November days and nights had been constructed for the mindlessness of the PS4 and it left the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (pronounced YAHN-iss Ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh) playing the games the way every NBA rookie in a strange city with time loved to do.

Only, a gnawing sense of dread washed over him. Only, it felt wrong.

"He felt … guilty," his older brother Thanasis says.

Guilty over the retail price of $399, the most Giannis had ever spent on something so frivolous in his life. Guilty over his two younger brothers in Greece struggling with his parents to undo the immigration red tape to visit him in the United States. Guilty over all those long afternoons and evenings on the streets of Athens as hungry, desperate boys, peddling sunglasses and souvenir trinkets to cobble together money for groceries and power bills.

"Let's do something with our lives," Thanasis would tell Giannis, "so we never have to do this again."

Yes, Giannis sold his PlayStation 4 to Bucks assistant coach Nick Van Exel for the retail price and waited the three months until, finally, his family arrived in the United States to indulge himself in a console again. There are reasons Giannis sets aside most of his $1.7 million rookie salary and tries to live on the $190 daily per diem – including the per diems his veteran teammates sympathetically pass his way. There are reasons those teammates furnished his apartment with hand-me-down furniture. Yes, there are reasons why Giannis, together with his 21-year-old brother, Thanasis, who plays for Delaware in the NBA Development League, sat paralyzed early this season in an upscale Philadelphia restaurant staring at the menus.

"Get whatever you want to eat," Giannis told Thanasis.

Together, they stared at the entrees.

"Whatever you want," Giannis told him again.

Together, they stared. And they stared.

"I took the salad," Thanasis finally said. "He did the same thing."

To understand the reluctance of indulging into lives transformed, into the possibilities of excess when so recently there had been nothing, rewind to the years of the two older brothers – through a mother's illness, through a father fighting for steady work – refusing to come back home to a tiny abode near the Acropolis until they could bring groceries, bring back the dollars and coins to pay the power bill.

"We would be out on the street together, selling a toy, a watch, something, and we raise $10," Thanasis says. "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."

Mere months before he was the 15th pick in the NBA draft, before he became a starter for the Bucks, before he turned into a star of All-Star Weekend in the Rookie-Sophomore Game and Skills Challenge, Giannis was playing in Greece's second division against talent that could be classified only sheepishly as professional. Out of the grainy video images, the precise scouting dispatches of Jonathan Givony's DraftExpress website, out of the deft maneuvering of Giannis' agent, Alex Saratsis of Octagon, a groundswell of information and intrigue inspired NBA executives to descend upon Greece for closer inspection.

Now, Giannis Antetokounmpo has grown to 6-foot-10 and could top out at 7-foot, and most league executives inclined to conduct a re-draft on the class of 2013 wouldn't let him out of the top five. Giannis had been a cult following born of the YouTube Greek Freak clips, but he's evolving into a decidedly mainstream attraction. League executives and coaches see such an extraordinary blend of talents within him, such natural and uncanny instincts for the game. His work ethic has been relentless, forged as a young man without practice time in Greece, who forever had to make more out of less because of his family's need for him to earn money. If someone stays after Bucks practice, Giannis won't leave until he's the last one on the floor. Sometimes, this goes on for hours.

His statistics – 6.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and two assists per game – belie an incredible leap in competition level, the most modest to the most elite on the planet. Every day he does something that leaves people shaking their heads. Every day he offers a window into a limitless future.

"I don't want to be a good player," Giannis says. "I want to be a great one."

All around Milwaukee, they look out for Giannis. He's part little brother, part savior. As Bucks owner Herb Kohl searches for financing on a new arena, a financial infusion of ownership with whom to partner, the Greek Freak is mostly the reason people purchase a ticket to Milwaukee's games. The Bucks have the NBA's worst record – 13-54 – and everyone understands the burden it's brought upon Antetokounmpo. From the owner to the general manager, the fans to the Bradley Center attendants, Giannis is something of a shared community project.

They love him here: the front office, the coaches, his teammates, the secretaries. Earnestness rarely walks through the door within a body so talented, within someone who could someday transform the Bucks into relevancy again. They think he's going to be a star, but there is so far for him to go, so much for him to learn.

Bucks front office executive Dave Dean was sitting in his practice facility office, listening to Giannis and a driver's education instructor review the rules of the road. He had never heard such excitement, such a curiosity satisfied with every revelation of the Wisconsin road.

"OH," Giannis bellowed, "that is … HYDROPLANING!"

Then silence, hushed talking and soon another proclamation.

"Bald tires are bad!"

"I want to take the test right now!" Giannis declared.

"I am ready!"

He didn't want to pass the test, he wanted to learn the rules. He wanted to understand. Everything is new. Every day is an adventure. Bucks assistant general manager David Morway watched Giannis bite into Morway's wife's homemade peanut butter bars and howl, "Ooooohhhh," as his eyes grew wide as saucers.

"He had never tasted peanut butter in his life," Morway said. "Everything is a discovery for him. Everything is a first."

When Giannis walked outside Target to find a carriage for the armful of frozen pizzas he was carrying – only to have store security descend upon him – a fan interceded to explain the truth of an innocent mistake. When Giannis went downtown to send money back home through Western Union on a game day, he didn't want to bother his close friend, assistant video coordinator Ross Geiger, for a ride to the gym. He had sent the money in his pockets back home, so Giannis, wearing a windbreaker, started running through the cold Milwaukee streets to reach the arena.

A married couple recognized him, stopped to pick him up and drove Giannis the rest of the way to the Bradley Center.

"Giannis," Bucks GM John Hammond explained to him later, "if you need a ride, you call someone here." Hammond started listing team employees, and finally said, "If you need a ride, call John Hammond!"

Giannis loves the interaction with people – meeting them everywhere – and that inspired a most improbable jealousy with his older brother, Thanasis. In the D-League, commercial air travel includes an exhausting loop of layovers and connections, hours upon hours in airport terminals to reach the minor league's remote locales. And bus rides, too. Hours and hours of bus rides.

This season, Giannis revealed to his older brother a measure of jealousy. For everyone who loves the NBA travel life – chartered flights, lavish food spreads on board, the true trappings of the rich and famous – Giannis has found himself pining for the way Thanasis sees America in the D-League.

"You can see people in the airport," Giannis told him. "You're lucky. We just come and leave. I never see anyone."

Sometimes, Antetokounmpo still can't believe he's here. Before few else did, Saratsis, his agent, believed everything could happen so quickly in the NBA. This time a year ago, general managers were offering Saratsis – who was born in Greece, but grew up mostly in the States – guarantees of selecting Giannis in the late second round to stow him away for years in Europe before bringing him to an NBA roster.

Outside of Giannis' two Greek-based agents, Giorgos Dimitropoulos and Giorgos Panou, Saratsis had watched Giannis more than anyone in NBA front offices, and knew he had someone special. He never backed down and slowly, surely, everyone else began to also understand. Eventually, most league executives believed they had to get ahead of Atlanta with the 17th overall pick to select Giannis.

What's more, most NBA teams believed the Hawks had assured that spot to Saratsis as a ground floor on draft night that Giannis would never fall below. These are common verbal agreements reached in the draft process, and most teams had believed Octagon had shut down Antetokounmpo's once he had a spot in the top 20.

For this reason, teams believed, information had become scarce on Giannis. As draft strategies go, a guarantee at No. 17 for Antetokounmpo was a coup. As one league executive called his competition in Greece – "YMCA level, playing against 35- and 40-year-old guys a lot of days," – cynicism over his talent was inevitable.

Nevertheless, Hammond had scouted Giannis for three consecutive days in Greece. Seventy-two hours before the draft in late June, the Bucks GM had decided: If Giannis reached Milwaukee at No. 15, Hammond was selecting him. Toronto's president and general manager, Masai Ujiri, tried frantically to find a deal to move into the top 15 and select Giannis, but nothing materialized. In the end, here were the Bucks, choosing a young player so naive to the sport – the business of professional basketball – that until late spring of 2010, he had no idea of the NBA draft concept until reading a newspaper story on John Wall's selection as the No. 1 overall pick.

"I thought if the NBA saw you, they like you, they take you with them," Giannis says.

On a cold Wisconsin afternoon this winter, Antetokounmpo was watching NBA highlights on a television over the restaurant bar near the practice facility and talking about all the NBA stars he gets to play night after night. LeBron James. Kevin Durant. Carmelo Anthony. In every way, this has been a season – a meteor – out of his wildest dreams.

"Hey, at beginning, Mike Dunleavy, he bust my ***!" Giannis exclaimed between bites of a steak. Only once, he insisted, though. He studied his tape, learned how to defend the Bulls forward and tried again. He's learning everything here, faster than most ever projected.

Back inside his apartment, Giannis shows off his pool table ("I play for respect, that's what I do!") and the personalized cue that his good pal on the Bucks staff, Geiger, gave him as a Christmas gift. And once his parents and brothers pushed through the red tape and made it to the United States, he was glad to let his agent find him a new PlayStation for his living room. Now, they're together for hours and hours, the guilt washed away.

And when it was still so cold this winter, the Greek Freak slid open the glass doors on his modest apartment, snow beneath his feet, wind blowing through his Bucks hoodie and thrust his arms out wide.

"Look at the water!" he says. "Look at the lake!"

On the worst team in the NBA, in the most remote of NBA outposts, he still struggles to imagine such a wonderful life. The most earnest young talent in the NBA is learning his way, and once he begins to figure it all out, yes, the possibilities are endless for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:06 pm ]

Let's see it he'll rise from his humble beginning...

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:07 pm ]

He played PG before...
But based on the latest news, he's now 6'11". :shock:

Author:  kepay [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:09 pm ]

it will be a b.itch to commentate on his future games.

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:17 pm ]

Antetokounmpo has been a member of the Greek junior national teams. He played with Greece's junior national team at the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he shot 36.4% from the field, and averaged 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game.

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:19 pm ]

Antetokounmpo was born in Sepolia, Athens, Greece to Nigerian parents. Although he is of Nigerian descent, he does not have Nigerian citizenship. He officially gained full Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013,with the official legal spelling of his name being Giannis Antetokounmpo. His nickname is "The Greek Freak".

Giannis has two older brothers, named Francis and Thanasis, as well as two younger brothers, named Kostas and Alexis.Thanasis was Giannis's teammate when he was with Filathlitikos, and he also played with him in the 2013 Greek League All-Star Game, while Francis has played football professionally in Nigeria and Kostas started playing officially for Filathlitikos during their 2013–14 season. All of the Antetokounmpo brothers have played basketball in the Filathlitikos system.

Author:  bigatooth [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:19 pm ]

JABEZJ wrote:
Antetokounmpo has been a member of the Greek junior national teams. He played with Greece's junior national team at the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he shot 36.4% from the field, and averaged 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game.

di ba #2 pick sila (bucks) ngayon?

if they can't reach the 10th spot sa east .... consider him a bust :lol: :lol:

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:20 pm ]

bigatooth wrote:
JABEZJ wrote:
Antetokounmpo has been a member of the Greek junior national teams. He played with Greece's junior national team at the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he shot 36.4% from the field, and averaged 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game.

di ba #2 pick sila (bucks) ngayon?

if they can't reach the 10th spot sa east .... consider him a bust :lol: :lol:

That's why we will track his career...
And let's see if he'll be a bust indeed...

Author:  kepay [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:23 pm ]

before a commentator can say his surname properly, nakapag dunk na si nowitzki, naka dalawang free throw, saka nag cartwheel. :biglaugh:

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:23 pm ]

kepay wrote:
before a commentator can say his surname properly, nakapag dunk na si nowitzki, naka dalawang free throw, saka nag cartwheel. :biglaugh:

:lol: :lol:

Giannis na lang para short... :lol:

Author:  JABEZJ [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:28 pm ]

Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo just keeps growing, is now 'almost' 6-foot-11

By Dan Devine

When the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him last June, Giannis Antetokounmpo was considered an intriguing, if largely unknown, 6-foot-9 wing prospect. Four and a half months later, he had already shot up to 6-foot-10-1/4, with the Bucks' doctors saying the 18-year-old could keep on growing, thanks to his growth plate remaining open. Now, as Antetokounmpo prepares for his sophomore season and the Bucks weigh their options with the No. 2 overall pick in this Thursday's NBA draft, Milwaukee general manager John Hammond told media members that the Greek swingman is still growing like a weed, and that Giannis' growth opens some doors for the team in its decision-making.

From Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Have you had discussions about how players' positions may change based on [the] No. 2 pick?

"We've talked about that. I think, once again, that these guys are multiple position guys helps that discussion. For that matter, I think Giannis is going to be a multiple position player some day. He came last September he was 6-9, 190 (lbs.) and today he's almost 6-11, 217 pounds. I think Giannis is a guy that is going to be able to play, at his size, he's going to be able to play some small forward and he's going to play some power forward some day."

I guess we should have expected that the rest of Giannis' body would grow to match those meathooks soon enough.

Remember: Antetokounmpo played point guard in Greece. Now, after measuring at 6-foot-9-1/2-inches without shoes during his 2013-14 exit interview, Giannis is getting ever closer to 7 feet tall, and could slot in just about anywhere on the Bucks' depth chart this fall. (Then again, considering the Bucks are coming off a dismal 15-67 season in which they turned in the NBA's second-worst defense and fifth-worst offense, just being able to fill one of those slots isn't necessarily saying all that much.)

It's not clear whether Hammond and company had any idea that Antetokounmpo still had a growth spurt or two left in him when they decided to take the little-known Greek prospect with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. The move seemed like a gamble to many observers, with questions abounding as to how the 18-year-old swingman — who would be going from the comparatively weak competition of Greece's second professional division to the highest-level basketball in the world — would handle both the step in difficulty and the significant cultural transition that comes with moving to a new country.

Such concerns weren't wholly unfounded. Antetokounmpo did struggle at times in his first season with a terrible Bucks team, although his culture-clash moments seemed to result in positive stories rather than negative ones. But after Hammond's preseason pumping of the brakes with respect to the likelihood of Antetokounmpo playing big minutes, the lanky swingman wound up logging nearly 1,900 minutes as a rookie, making 77 appearances and 23 starts thanks to a combination of injuries, trades and a general lack of viable options on the wing for head coach Larry Drew.

Along the way, Antetokounmpo showed flashes of athletic brilliance, and wound up turning in per-game averages (6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists in 24.6 minutes per game) that landed him in some very impressive company among teen performers in NBA history, alongside the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady and Luol Deng. While Antetokounmpo said after the season that he was happy to prove to himself that he belonged when it came time to play against top-flight talents like James, Anthony and Kevin Durant, he said that he wasn't satisfied, giving himself a "D-minus" for his rookie campaign.

Coach Drew was a bit kinder ("He's being hard on himself") but emphasized the need for his reedy rook to get stronger, according to Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin:

"I want him to really focus on just getting stronger," Drew said. "He may not be a guy that's going to pick up a lot of size from a strength standpoint, but there is such a thing as wiry strong. I've played against guys and I've coached guys like that.

"He's got to get quicker, more explosive, particularly laterally, so he's able to chase and defend guys out on the perimeter. He still has a lot to learn, but it all starts with his strength." [...]

"I'm going to continue to work on my body because I have to get a lot stronger," Antetokounmpo said. "Coach said that my progress was nice, so I'm just going to try to make more progress and get bigger.

"Coming into this league, the first thing I wanted to do was not get pushed around by the big guys. I accomplished that. The thing now is I want to get bigger so I can push them around."

Well, it remains to be seen whether Antetokounmpo's developed enough strength to go from bullied to bully in Year 2. As for getting bigger, though, it sounds like that's one mission accomplished ... and a mission that might not be over just yet.

Author:  kepay [ Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:32 pm ]

JABEZJ wrote:
kepay wrote:
before a commentator can say his surname properly, nakapag dunk na si nowitzki, naka dalawang free throw, saka nag cartwheel. :biglaugh:

:lol: :lol:

Giannis na lang para short... :lol:

pwede. :D

Author:  JABEZJ [ Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:26 pm ]

Bucks eager to pair Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Michael Sears

That sound you heard at the Milwaukee Public Market on Friday afternoon was a strange and delightful one.

What was it?

Genuine excitement about Milwaukee's pro basketball team was pulsating around the new face of the franchise, rookie Jabari Parker. The 19-year-old forward was introduced before a crowd of 300 or so fans that jammed into the upper level of the market in the city's Third Ward.

The polished Parker did not dwell on himself after being selected No. 2 overall Thursday in the NBA draft.

Instead he talked about doing his part to help bring some direction to a franchise that has stumbled into losing ways.

"You see with the San Antonio Spurs, not one person shines or overpowers the other," Parker said of the reigning league title-holders. "They're all a unit.

"I try to bring the same mentality within myself and try to show that within the team."

Suddenly, Bucks fans have a rising star to rally around. And they can embrace two talented teenagers given the development of 19-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will enter his second NBA season in the fall.

"I'm really excited," said Antetokounmpo, who attended the draft in New York. "He's a really good kid.

"We talked a little bit after his workout with the Bucks and we can take our team to the next level."

Building through the draft is something Bucks general manager John Hammond has stressed. Now the team will have a chance to pair Parker and Antetokounmpo, the 15th overall selection in last year's draft and a member of the league's all-rookie second team.

Both have skills that can contribute to a Bucks rebirth, with Parker able to score in multiple ways and the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo ready to soar above the rim for dunks and blocks.

It would be a mistake to think the two youngsters have a soft approach to the game.

Hammond said Parker's agent, B.J. Armstrong, had a message for Bucks officials in the draft process when discussing his client.

"One of the things B.J. talked about with Jabari early on was, 'When he has you down, he'll step on you,'" Hammond said.

"And he said maybe there's a misconception about Jabari the nice guy. He said, 'Don't forget. This kid grew up on the South Side (of Chicago) and he'll compete.'"

Antetokounmpo and Parker will have a chance to join forces right away during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas next month. They will play with the Bucks entry in the 24-team league that runs from July 11-21.

"Giannis, sometimes people look at him and see the thin body," Hammond said. "I've seen that Giannis hates to lose. He wants to be the best.

"I think it's going to be a fun experience for he and Jabari and other players on our roster. Giannis wants to be the best player on this team. He's not going to just hand that to someone else. That's important to him as well."

Parker said he's looking forward to playing with Antetokounmpo.

"I'm still his rook at the end of the day," Parker said. "I'll give him a lot of respect and make sure we go and challenge each other in practice."

Hammond said somebody remarked to him after Parker's news conference that the former Duke star was "19 going on 39."

That level of maturity is a quality that could be invaluable to the Bucks as they try to build a winning culture.

"Any time you go through a rebuilding process, it's important that you get the right pieces," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "Last night (Thursday) we were able to accomplish that.

"I am really looking forward to coaching Jabari and to making him even a better player."

Parker fully embraces the idea of learning more now that he has reached the NBA, following a heralded high school career at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago and an accomplished single season at Duke. He averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds and became just the fourth freshman in Atlantic Coast Conference history to lead the league in rebounding.

"I'm just ready to be a student," Parker said. "Whatever veteran is going to be a part of the team, I'm going to make sure I go out there and learn from him.

"Put my pride away, put my own notoriety away. I just want to learn and be part of a team."

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