Q&A: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Thursday, February 12, 2015 with No comments
Courtesy of Slam

SLAM: I know you were in New Orleans last year for All-Star Weekend—what was your favorite part?
Giannis Antetokounmpo: All the players being able to be around our families, a nice little break. It was great. My family was there, and I was able to have that experience with my family. It was nice being around such big players—like Kevin Durant was there, James Harden was there. It was really nice.
SLAM: You’re obviously in the Slam Dunk Contest Saturday night—do you remember your first dunk, ever?
GA: Yeah, I was 15. It was in my neighborhood and I was with my brothers, and we were trying to dunk—me and my older brother, Thanasis. My two little brothers were imitating us. Then I had my first dunk.
SLAM: Did all you guys go crazy?
GA: Yeah, we went crazy, because I was there for hours. After two hours I got the dunk. I have a picture of it, too. I still have the picture.
SLAM: Do you have a favorite dunk ever?
GA: No, I don’t have a favorite dunk. When I was announced to be in the Dunk Contest, I went back and watched Larry Nance—he had so many amazing dunks.
SLAM: Did any stand out?
GA: Yeah, he threw the ball from one side of the rim, and he caught it on the other side! His head was above the rim. That was pretty amazing.
SLAM: How about a favorite dunk that you’ve done so far in the NBA?
GA: I’ve done so many dunks that I don’t even remember them. Yeah, one of my favorites was the one I did in Dallas—I took one dribble from the 3-point line and got really high above the rim.
SLAM: What’s better: A big dunk when there’s no one around where you can fly through the air or dunking in someone’s face?
GA: I like dunking on top of someone, you know? You get momentum for the team and get more energy, and it gives me more confidence.
SLAM: Which NBA players do you like to watch dunk?
GA: I like Russell Westbrook’s dunks. He’s killing the rim. He dunks with a lot of force.
SLAM: I remember at All-Star last year you got a lot of questions about your newfound love of smoothies. In the year since, is there any other aspect of American culture that you’ve discovered? 
GA: Give me 15 seconds, let me think. [15 silent seconds pass] Oh! Pancakes! Yeah, pancakes.
SLAM: You hadn’t had pancakes before you moved to the States?
GA: No, I never had pancakes. In Europe, they have crepes. Pancakes was something that I had here in America. They’re the best. Every morning I love pancakes, with a lot of syrup. I fill the bowl with syrup first, then after that I dip the pancake on top of it. I put some strawberries, too.
SLAM: That’s amazing. What about music? Have you been introduced to new music?
GA: Most of the time, my teammates introduce me to new songs and new artists. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake, Drake, Tupac. But it’s a little different from Europe, because we like more house music, I think. When I go to Europe, there’s [a lot of] house music. Here it’s more about hip-hop, R&B and stuff like that.
SLAM: Did you teach your teammates about stuff that you listened to back home?
GA: No, no. I did not.
SLAM: You don’t think anybody would be interested in it?
GA: I don’t think so. They’d be like, Giannis, what is this that you’re listening to?