Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo had more than a few people scratching their heads when he went completely out of character earlier this summer. Once considered one of the last remaining loyal superstars in the league, the seven-time All-Star shocked the basketball world by openly saying that he will leave Milwaukee if he sees a better opportunity to win a championship.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Is ‘Not the Same’
At least one Eastern Conference general manager may have seen this coming. According to the GM, Giannis’ recent declaration may have stemmed from the fact that Antetokounmpo is no longer the same person he was a few years back:
“I have heard that he’s not the same,” the unnamed GM told Ric Bucher of Fox Sports. “There was a naivete, a freshness to him. People change over time. I think he’s changed a little bit. It’s not like we’re talking about him being an awful human being. That’s not it. But I don’t think he’s the Giannis of three, four, five years ago. He’s been far more outspoken.”
The high-ranking executive then pointed out how Giannis has been more aggressive when it comes to his dealings off the court, which includes the Antetokounmpo brothers establishing Ante, Inc., the parent company that will oversee their entire global business portfolio, earlier this summer.
As it turns out, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James may have had a hand in all this:
“You never heard about him and his brothers in the business world. This summer there’s been a lot more of that,” the GM continued. “There are a couple of people [who] have said to me they have looked at what LeBron James and his group has done, and they’re saying, ‘Hey, we need to get our s— together. We can dictate where we want to go and what we want to do.'”
It’s not as if Giannis and his brothers called LeBron to ask for some business advice, but the fact that they reportedly used his dealings outside the NBA as a bit of a benchmark speaks volumes of how much influence James has on the Antetokounmpo’s.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is Calling the Shots
So, is Giannis Antetokounmpo really trying to follow in the footsteps of LeBron James? Not necessarily. However, it does seem like the Bucks talisman is attempting to replicate LeBron’s activity off the court — at least according to the unnamed East exec:
“I think he now knows, ‘Look, I can dictate a lot of things,'” the GM said. “‘I think I’m the best player in the world. I’m going to be measured upon how many championships I win.’ Small-market Giannis is no more. He’s global now. It would not surprise me if he asked to leave. Two years ago I would’ve said he’s closer to Tim Duncan than he is LeBron James, whereas now I think it’s vastly different.”
LeBron James isn’t only one of the greatest basketball players to ever do it, but the four-time NBA champion is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the business. You can’t really blame Giannis for attempting to walk the same path.
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