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Giannis Antetokounmpo says speaking to a sports psychiatrist during the NBA Finals helped manage his anxiety

“He helped me be myself,” Antetokounmpo said.

Giannis Antetokounmpo WireImage

The most valuable player in the 2021 NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo, recently said he would trade in his championship title for a chance to be with his father again. “I want my father back, no second thought on that one. You can take everything back, I could go back and sell CDs I don’t care. I want my father back,” Antetokounmpo told Cosmote TV.

The Bucks’ big man lost his dad in 2017. Charles Antetokounmpo died at the age of 54 from a heart attack during a visit to Milwaukee. Clearly, Giannis is still grieving. The Greek Freak, who is still visiting his home country, also told the outlet he doesn’t want any special treatment since becoming an NBA champion.

“I am Giannis,” he said. But calling me MVP, calling me champ, calling me the best player in the world, is something that might hold me back. And I don’t want anything holding me back. I want to look forward and be better.”

“I like being a hunter,” he continued. “I am not the best player in the world. I am telling you, I am not! KD, LeBron, Kawhi, Luka, Curry, AD might be. I am not. I am still hunting the All-Time Greats. LeBron is still the best player in the world.”

Humility is certainly one of the 26-year-old champion’s strengths. He averaged 35 points per game, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and nearly 2 blocks per game during the Finals against the Phoenix Suns. The 2021 Defensive Player of the Year put on a dominant performance in the series against the Suns but “the key,” according to Antetokounmpo, was managing his “fear” and “anxiety.” “I was talking with a sports psychiatrist every day, he helped me be myself,” he said. “The free throws were a mental issue and I want to continue like this in the next season. And I want to see if we can repeat this as a team. I want to see if we can do it again, myself, my teammates, the owners, everyone.”

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