Giannis Antetokounmpo dishes on his new documentary

Giannis: The Marvelous Journey, which is now streaming on Prime Video, reveals each the softer facet of NBA nice Giannis Antetokounmpo in addition to his highway to success. Household is all the things to Antetokounmpo who was born and raised in Athens to Nigerian immigrant dad and mom, however when the Milwaukee Bucks signed him greater than 10 years in the past, the facility ahead needed to depart his father, mom, and three brothers behind to be able to pursue his professional basketball goals. With slightly assist from the proprietor of the Bucks, Antetokounmpo introduced his household to America and achieved a way of concord and happiness he all the time wished.

The movie adeptly addresses Antetokounmpo and the Bucks’ victorious highway to the 2021 NBA championship. Nonetheless, it’s the moments proven together with his dad and mom, brothers, fiancée Mariah Riddlesprigger, and their kids—two boys and a woman—that show to be probably the most relatable and heartwarming.

We caught up with Antetokounmpo and Giannis: The Marvelous Journey director Kristen Lappas to speak concerning the movie and the behind-the-scenes particulars followers didn’t see.

Within the movie, it’s revealed {that a} tragic loss made you take into account leaving the NBA behind. Was that powerful to share?

Antetokounmpo: There have been a pair instances after I’ve contemplated leaving the sport. I love to do issues that I take pleasure in and with out my household, I can’t be comfortable. On the finish of the day, my household is all the time there for me. I did it to offer for them and I do it to make them proud. And now, I do it to make my very own youngsters proud. That’s my motivation—my household.

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Are there moments with your loved ones the movie didn’t seize?

Antetokounmpo: I take pleasure in arduous work. I take pleasure in seeing myself enhancing. I take pleasure in reaching my targets in entrance of my household. It’s one thing I’ve all the time cherished. I spend time with my youngsters earlier than I am going to the world. I heat up with the crew and I see my youngsters. I kiss them. I kiss Mariah. I compete. And regardless of the end result, I really feel cherished.

Why was it essential to you to point out touching moments with Antetokounmpo and his household?

Lappas: I wished to prioritize him as a person, father, son, and brother. Seeing the connection he had together with his dad was totally different from the person we see on the courtroom. So is his relationship together with his kids. I wished to point out a special facet of him.

Prime of thoughts for me is that till this movie, Giannis wasn’t snug exhibiting his youngsters in public. He covers their faces with emojis on social media. I revered and appreciated his beliefs and it wasn’t till I earned his and Mariah’s belief, that they let me in and I used to be in a position to seize these tender moments, that are simply among the greatest within the movie.

What compelled you to inform his story?

Lappas: Giannis’ agent, Alex Saratsis, is Greek American. I’m Greek American. That’s why you see phrases like “Philotimo,” which is a Greek philosophy which means “love of honor,” used within the movie to explain Giannis. It’s a philosophy that issues to him as a participant, father, son, and brother.

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Greek individuals are very proud individuals and I come from a basketball household. [Her father, Steve Lappas, is a retired college basketball coach.] I’ve made different sports activities documentaries and gained awards [Emmys] for them.

His is a basketball story. It’s a Greek story. It’s a story about household. It’s all the issues and a dream state of affairs that enables me to really feel obsessed with Giannis’ story and inform his story in a passionate method. While you really feel related as a storyteller, you do a greater job telling the story.

What message are you hoping individuals stroll away with after watching ‘Giannis: The Marvelous Journey’?

Lappas: I hope individuals stroll away understanding this isn’t only a sports activities story. It’s an immigrant story and a narrative concerning the sacrifices dad and mom make for his or her youngsters. Giannis’ relationship with Greece is absolutely difficult due to the struggles he and his household endured in a principally white, Greek Orthodox nation. He feels a way of pleasure coming from there, however he and his household additionally skilled discrimination.

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There’s a great second within the movie, it’s one in every of my favorites, when Mariah explains that, “immigrants aren’t criminals who’re coming to steal your jobs.” My hope is that that message resonates with audiences and so they stroll away with a greater understanding of the immigrant expertise.

Take a look at Giannis: The Marvelous Journey, now obtainable on Prime Video.

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