Like many young players in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo received a lot of praise and advice from Kobe Bryant before he passed away.
So after Giannis won his first NBA Championship, and took home the MVP award, Twitter did its thing and found an old interaction. Kobe was extremely impressed with Giannis’ 2019 MVP season. But he wrote to the young Bucks player that the next step was for him to win a championship.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 25, 2019
Kobe Bryant’s good friend and former teammate, Pau Gasol, was extremely excited to see that Giannis Antetokounmpo had completed the task given to him by The Mamba.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 21, 2021
The relationship between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kobe Bryant started in 2017, when Giannis tweeted at the Lakers great.
“This started almost like a joke at first,” Antetokounmpo said in his press conference after Milwaukee’s NBA Finals championship. “It was, I think, a Nike ad, and he was sending a challenge to players…I was like, ‘Yeah, let me just shoot my shot.'”
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 27, 2017
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Once Giannis Antetokounmpo won MVP, Kobe Bryant told him that the next step was to win a championship.
“That’s the thing. I’m a people pleaser,” Giannis said. “I don’t like letting people down. When I signed with the city of Milwaukee, that’s the main reason I signed. Because I didn’t want to let people down and think that I don’t work extremely hard for them, which I do.
“Being able to accomplish those things in this period of time, it’s crazy. It’s unreal.”
I’m sure Kobe Bryant would have been incredibly proud of Giannis Antetokounmpo. But he would still tell him that there is more to accomplish. Back-to-back rings? Hall-Of-Fame? Whatever Kobe would have told Giannis right now, it would appear that the Greek Freak is well on his way to accomplishing.