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February 16, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. On Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki:
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Both of those guys, and LeBron James and Michael Jordan have done so many things for the game. Not just those guys, but a lot of guys. They've done so many things for the game and for us, it's been amazing. We look up to them, and it's basically showing us the path for what we can do. Like I never thought after basketball I could own an NBA team. So they've done it. That's something that I don't know if I'm going to do after my career, but it's awesome to see them being role models and setting an example for us.

Q. Giannis, is it surreal to kind of be on the same level with the guy who is called the best player in the world?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: It's crazy. Before I came into the league, I was looking up to him. Right now I was in the locker room, and I was sharing a meal with Team Giannis. Like I'm leading the All-Star team. You know, picking teams with LeBron James. If you told me that six years ago, I would never, never, never thought I would be in this position right now.

Q. The dedication to the game, the talent. Is it work ethic? What is it?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I think it's the work ethic and the discipline. If I had to choose something, the work ethic and discipline.

Q. Giannis, can we get a message for Japanese fans?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I want to thank all the Japanese fans. Keep supporting the Bucks. I hope the Bucks are your favorite team. And keep watching the NBA.

Q. What's the key for an international player to enter the league?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: What's it take for an international player to enter the league? Keep working hard. If you're disciplined and you believe in yourself, you're going to make it to the league.

Q. What was your Valentine's day gift this year?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: This year, I didn't get nothing this year. Nothing, man.

Q. On his journey:
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Yeah, if I had to go back to my roots, what I remember is those who helped me and helped my family for me to be in this position. There was a lot of people during my way to the NBA, from the time I started basketball. That's one of the parts that I keep inside me, and always when I go out there, I not just represent my family, I represent, first of all, the people that helped my family and helped me to be in this seat right here that I'm sitting, and representing 13 million people also.

Q. What's your message for those in Nigeria?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: In Nigeria? Keep working hard. Always follow your dreams. Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the best players that ever played the game, came from Nigeria. As I said, keep believing in yourself, and hopefully one day you can be in the same position and play basketball together.

Q. On the NBA's influence in Africa:
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I was in the first NBA Africa game. It was a great experience. Hopefully, I can go back and play again. But the first time I went to in Johannesburg was amazing.

Q. Did you bring any bad habits from Greece?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I don't think I brought any bad habits from Greece, but I think one of the good habits I brought from Greece, their hospitality.

Q. What's your favorite moment in the NBA?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: All my moments have been amazing so far. I don't think I could choose one moment.

Q. I know how happy you are to have your teammate [Khris Middleton] here. Can you talk about that?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I'm so happy for Khris. He worked so hard to be here. He definitely deserves everything he gets. It's just amazing to see the growth in him. From Team USA to the All-Star Game. There's so many things to come. As long as he keeps working hard, he's going to be fine. He's been doing great so far. He's making everybody and his family proud.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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