Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo are now the first trio of brothers to become NBA champions in league history. Giannis, 26, and Thanasis, 29, helped theon Tuesday, receiving their first rings and joining their brother Kostas, 23, who won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
When asked what it meant to be a champion alongside his two brothers, Giannis responded with resounding, “Woooo!”
“I’m just happy — a lot of people was making jokes when Kostas won his championship with the Lakers before me and the dinner table was awkward a little bit because he had the ring before me. But now, me and Thanasis have a ring,” Giannis said in a post-game interview.
On Tuesday night, the two-time MVP scored 50 points while racking up 14 rebounds and five blocks to help defeat the Suns in Game 6. His performance helped the Bucks bring home their first championship in 50 years, the last coming in 1971.
Affectionately known as the “Greek Freak,” Giannis and his brothers grew up in poverty in Athens, Greece. His parents moved to Greece from Nigeria and relied on the kids to sell goods in the streets to raise money for the family.
“We didn’t have a lot of money. But we had a lot of happiness. So we wasn’t broke happiness-wise,” Giannis told “” in 2018. “When we were struggling back in the day, we were all together in one room, same room. We were having fun. We were smiling. There was some tough times.”
His father, Charles, encouraged his sons to play basketball in the neighborhood courts, where they honed their skills until they were good enough to play professionally in Greece. When asked what they used for basketball shoes, Thanasis said, “I remember one game we played with the same pair – one game.”
It was in a small, Greek gym where someone posted a video of 18-year-old Giannis playing. That clip led to Giannis’ becoming the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft and kickstarted the brothers’ fairytale journey to NBA superstardom.
“There was a job that had to be finished,” Giannis said after the Bucks won Tuesday evening. “This is my city. They trust me. They believe in me. They believe in us.”
Justin Carissimo contributed reporting.