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Antetokounmpo Likes Greek Freak Tag, Wonders How He Got It

Αssociated Press

Basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, who was named NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 speaks as he is presenting his new shoe, in Zappeion Hall, Athens, on Friday, June 28, 2019. Antetokounmpo is in Greece to attend a 3x3 baseball tournament which he sponsors. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

He's baaaaad – which means he's good – but the nickname that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo most likes is the moniker “Greek Freak,” that was stuck on him somehow in his rookie year when he came from Greece.

His last name was even more difficult to pronounce for Americans than many long Greek last names so it was part necessity for someone to find a different moniker to hang on him.

“The nickname is really good. I like it," Antetokounmpo said during a radio appearance on ESPN Wisconsin about the sports meaning, that it's a giant compliment and nod to his freakish other-worldly abilities as a 6-11 do-everything player.

"I don't remember the first time I heard about it...I really don't know who came up with it," he said. “I just went on the court one day and I had like a crazy dunk or a crazy block and after that everyone started calling me the Greek Freak. So it stuck by me,” he said.

The irony is that he's so humble. “Giannis and the Greek Freak are two different people,” he said.