Most young NBA players would probably jump at the chance to workout alongside a legend like LeBron James, but most players aren’t Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 24-year-old Greek superstar revealed that he wasn’t interested in training with rival players in the offseason and had turned down invites to practice with some of the league’s best talent.
“I can’t work out with you in the summer and then play you in a few months,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic. “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.”
The Greek Freak shared that he believes training with other stars allows players to learn how to beat each other. He said that he thinks Kevin Durant took notes on LeBron James when they worked out together.
“I feel like with LeBron and KD [Kevin Durant], KD did that to LeBron,” Antetokounmpo said. “Take a lot of his thoughts and use it against him. And that’s what I don’t want guys doing to me.”
Antetokounmpo added that he doesn’t want anyone in the league to think he is their friend.
“I hate it when…” Antetokounmpo said while mock-posing for a picture. “I hate that. I don’t want [opponents] to see me to be buddy-buddy with me.”
Antetokounmpo hasn’t really pretended to be chill with other players either. After Knicks player Mario Hezonja stepped over him after a dunk, Antetokounmpo told reporters that he would punch the small forward in the nuts should he try it again.