During the 2018 NBA offseason, several NBA superstars and young players were seen having workouts together in preparation for the 2018-19 NBA season. Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of the NBA players who got the opportunity play with Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, whom he considered as one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
Aside from Kobe Bryant, Giannis Antetokounmpo also received invitations to do offseason training with active superstars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. However, the 24-year-old power forward decided to reject the offers as he did in the previous offseasons. According to an article published by Eric Nehm of the Athletic on Friday (h/t Bleacher Report), Antetokounmpo said it “feels weird” working out with superstars who he will be needing to play against in the next couple of months.
“I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months,” Antetokounmpo said.
“It feels weird. It doesn’t feel right with me. Like other players, it’s cool for other players, but I don’t. I don’t want to. Other guys do it.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo believes training with other superstars during the offseason will give them the opportunity to study his game. Antetokounmpo used Kevin Durant and LeBron James as examples to further explain his side. After a series of workouts, Antetonkounmpo thinks Durant succeeded to find ways on how to effectively play against James which proved to be a huge help in capturing his first two consecutive NBA championship titles when the Golden State Warriors took own LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals 2017 and 2018.
“I feel like with LeBron and KD [Kevin Durant], KD did that to LeBron,” Antetokounmpo said.
“Take a lot of his thoughts and use it against him. And that’s what I don’t want guys doing to me.”
Aside from offseason training, Giannis Antetokounmpo also admitted that he is not a fan of the overly friendly culture that has developed among elite players in the league.
“I hate that. I don’t want [opponents] to see me to be buddy-buddy with me.”
No one can blame Giannis Antetokounmpo for his old-school mindset. It only shows how serious he is in establishing himself as the best active player in the league. As of now, the Bucks are showing an impressive performance and currently sitting in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 17-8 record. In 23 games, Antetokounmpo is posting incredible statistics, averaging 26.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 steals on 57.7 percent shooting from the field.