The NBA MVP intends to do his own thing once again during the off-season (Picture: Getty)Giannis Antetokounmpo says he will not train with any of his rivals this summer after winning the 2018-19 Most Valuable Player at Monday night’s NBA Awards.
The Milwaukee Bucks star gave an emotional speech after being named MVP ahead of James Harden and Paul George, who came second and third respectively, and becomes the third-youngster player to collect the accolade over the last 40 years.
Going into his stunning season, the Greek Freak was invited to train with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, though turned them down, and says he’ll do the same this summer too.
Giannis joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as only the second Milwaukee Bucks star to win the MVP award (Picture: Getty)Asked if he will once again choose not to train with his peers in the off-season, Giannis told reporters: ‘I’ve been six years in the league going into my seventh year, I’ve done it like that in the past so I just try to stick with what works.
‘Obviously if I practice with the best players in the league – James Harden, Paul George, KD, LeBron, Kawhi – that’s going to make me better.
“This is just the beginning…”
An emotional @Giannis_An34 accepts the #KiaMVP! #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/5LhQFA81AV
— NBA (@NBA) June 25, 2019
‘But at the end of the day I’m really so competitive that I try to do my work and my job by myself and then I’m able when the season starts almost to surprise the world and showcase my skills.
‘It’s something that’s worked in the past so far, so I’m going to stick by that.’
LeBron invited Giannis to train with him last summer but he declined the offer (Picture: Getty)Speaking at the end of last year, Antetokounmpo went even further and suggested that training with his rivals during the off-season gives them too many opportunities to study his game.
He told The Athletic: ‘I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months. It feels weird. It doesn’t feel right with me. Like other players, it’s cool for other players, but I don’t. I don’t want to. Other guys do it.
‘I feel like with LeBron and KD [Kevin Durant], KD did that to LeBron. Take a lot of his thoughts and use it against him. And that’s what I don’t want guys doing to me.’