Giannis' Blog: Was anybody expecting me to make it here?

Giannis

Hello there,

I want to take this time and wish to everybody a Happy New Year. May all your wishes come true. Same as it happened to me. Was anybody expecting me to make it here? To be a starter in the NBA? Most if not all, thought that in my rookie year in the NBA I would be more useful handing out towels, water or ice. I accepted the situation and the challenge, knowing that with the hard work, that started last September, only good things could happen to me.

Slowly I earned the respect within the Bucks organization and one day coach Drew informed me that I will start. I felt really awkward. A nice feeling. Different. Actually I cant really explain how I felt. I wondered, “Am I ready to start? Will I play good? Will I be able to help my team?”

Respect is not a given. You have to earn it with hard work.

It’s great knowing that coach Drew is feeling confident about my game. I can see it in his eyes, every time he talks to me. Everybody trusts me in the team and all I want is to keep getting better game by game.

I try to do as much as I can on the floor. Play defense and help my teammates on defense. Going strong in every possession and keep hustling. I want to evolve in every game and always learn something new.

I hate the fact that the losses are more than our wins. I am selfish and I want to win. The year has been with ups and downs cause we had a lot of injuries.

The holidays were weird because I was away from my family for the first time. To be honest I felt lonely, away from my parents and my brothers. It was good that my brother Thanasis travelled to Milwaukee during his off days with the 87ers. I didn’t aske for any presents, because being in the NBA is the best gift I could have ever dreamed. I live a dream. It still feels unreal. Even now, when I step on the NBA court I think that this is not really hapenning. Few months ago I wasn’t even starting on Filathlitikos and now I’m in the NBA. If that’s not the best gift, then I don’t which one is.

The whole spirit within the team reminds me of a family. My teammate, Larry Sanders  gave me as a present a pair of Gucci shoes. I told him that he shouldn’t buy me such an expensive gift, but he said that I’m his rookie and he has to take care of me. Maybe he wants me to through him more lob passes! All the veterans in the team embraced me and the other rookies. We are like a family and I really like that.

I feel twice as lucky because I feel I am in the right place in the right time, since I have the opportunity to play and grow as a person and as a player, faster than I thought.
It was a great moment for me travelling to Los Angeles to play the Lakers. Unfortunately Kobe Bryant did not play because he re injured himself. Since I stepped foot at Staples I kept looking for Kobe with my eyes. I wanted to see him up close. I wanted to figure out how big he was. His moves. This is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. When the game started I saw him sitting on the Lakers bench. He had that killer look, although he was in a suit and not playing. I have that killer look! Nah... I’m joking.

I feel weird with all the noise surrounding my name, back home in Greece. I didn’t expect it. I read the things that are being written, by logging on NBA Greece and I read the messages on my profile on Facebook. It’s also a nice feeling but at the same time it makes me uncomfortable because I am not used on all that attention. I hope that my presence here will work as motivation for other young players from Greece, so they can come and play in the NBA. I hope that the next Greek in the NBA will be my big brother, Thanasis and the my other younger brothers Kostas and Alexandros! That would be fun!

I am eagerly awaiting for February so I can have the chance to play on the Rookie Challenge. To be the first Greek to participate in the festivities durin the NBA’s All Star Weekend!

Once again, Happy New Year to everybody.

Be good and keep watching the Bucks

- Giannis