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NBA Wisdom: 8 Giannis Antetokounmpo Quotes

giannis antetokounmpo quotes

If you have a problem with being not focused in the present, or too much focused on the past, the following Giannis Antetokounmpo quotes are for you. With 1:23 left to go in Game 4 of the NBA Finals and the Milwaukee Bucks clinging to a 101-99 lead over the Phoenix Suns, Suns point guard Chris Paul brought the ball down the court for the potential tying or go-ahead basket.  As shown in the video above, the ensuing play resulted in Devin Booker throwing a lob pass for a certain Deandre Ayton dunk. However, out of nowhere, 2-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo came out of seemingly nowhere to block the dunk attempt.  His effort resulted in what is now considered one of the top three defensive plays in NBA Finals history. Giannis’s block helped secure the team’s victory as the series is now tied at 2-2. In a news conference documented in this ESPN article, Giannis gave his thoughts on the play.  From these Giannis Antetokounmpo quotes we learn life-changing leadership lessons every leader can apply.

8 Giannis Antetokounmpo Quotes on Leadership

1. Trust Your Training In High-Pressure Situations

Giannis said, “It’s incredible what your body is [able] to do.”  As you develop deep practice habits and muscle memory, your training will take over in difficult situations.  When it does, trust it.

2. The Difference Between Successful And Unsuccessful People Is Executing In High-Pressure Situations

Tom Brady once said, “To me what separates really good players from great players – executive well under pressure. The biggest game. The biggest stage. That’s what playing quarterback is all about.” So is leadership and basketball. Giannis added, “When you think about winning, you go to the extreme.”  Great leaders simply find a way while others make excuses.

3. Let Your Past Inform You, Your Present Instruct You, And Your Future Inspire You.

The past is simply a data point. It should give you confidence and/or instruction but your focus as a leader needs to be on what is next. Giannis noted, “I got to move on. I got to keep making winning plays. I got to keep competing. I got to keep finding ways to help my team be great. Great moment. I appreciate the moment. Great moment. [But] we got to move on.” So do you.

4. Your Ego Focuses On The Past

Yesterday ended last night. A leader’s windshield (what lies ahead) should always be larger and more pronounced than your rearview mirror (what’s in the past). As Babe Ruth said, “Yesterday’s home run won’t win today’s game.” Giannis would have liked Babe. He said, “I cannot explain the play. But, at the end of the day, that’s in the past. When you talk about the past, that’s your ego talking. It’s in the past. It’s over with.”

5. Your Pride Predicts The Future

Leaders are not promised anything in the future. The future is an opportunity which must be seized. Giannis understands this. He said, “I figured out a mindset to have that when you focus on the past, that’s your ego. ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’ When I focus on the future, it’s my pride. ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I (will) do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.”

6. Your Humility Focuses On The Moment

As mentioned earlier, your ego focuses on the past. Your pride predicts the future.  But your humility allows you to focus on the moment. Your humility allows you to be where your feet are and be in the moment.  Giannis said, “I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation.  That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level.”

7. Being In The Moment Often Requires Accountability

As talked about in the opening paragraph, we are a distracted society. We have so many options and so many messages coming at us, it is hard to stop, focus, and concentrate. Many of us need help doing so. Giannis acknowledged, “I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that.” If the two-time NBA MVP needs help, perhaps you and I do as well.

8. Focus Is A Skill Which Can Be Mastered

Great leaders make no excuses. You can beat the problem of distraction. Giannis concluded, “But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of … master it. It’s been working so far, so I’m not going to stop.” Focus is not just a state of mind, it is a skill. And skills can be mastered.

There is so much leadership wisdom you can draw from Giannis’s analysis of this historic play.  What is one thing you learned which will make you a better leader?


This article on Giannis Antetokounmpo quotes originally appeared here, and is used by permission.