MILWAUKEE, WI—Asserting that the rough-and-tumble style of play he learned on Mount Olympus was the reason he is here today, Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters Tuesday that he credits his NBA success to his childhood days of playing basketball against Greek gods. “I really honed my skills on the court by squaring off against old-timers like Ares and Athena. I wouldn’t be the player I am now without having to dodge boulders thrown by 20-foot Titans or fend off Cerberus in the paint,” said the 24-year-old Greece native, who attributed his ability to finish through contact to Hephaestus raising mountains in front of him as he went in for dunks. “I’m so grateful that I got to play Zeus one-on-one—I got so much stronger from trying to post him up while he assumed the form of a brick wall. I actually mastered my euro step by dodging his lightning bolts en route to the basket. In fact, most of those gods could get across the entire court in less than two strides, so I didn’t really know it was a big deal until I started playing stateside. Those deities helped make me who I am today.” Antetokounmpo also revealed that he signed an endorsement deal with Nike as a way to pay off the 5,000 silver drachmas he owes every year as a tribute to the Olympians.
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