The NBA may have its headquarters in the United States, but it has a truly global presence. The NBA has more fans and players from countries other than North America than ever before, making it a truly international brand.
Many games have been played outside of the usual venues as a result of Adam Silver. We have witnessed games of some kind in France, Mexico City, and Japan just in the previous few years.
Giannis Antetokounmpo now wants to bring the action to Greece, which is his home country, and the league appears to be all for it.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to play NBA in Greece
“Silver mentioned that in trying to schedule more international games, the league will discuss team travel rules in its discussion with the NBPA during the current collective bargaining agreement talks. Silver said it’s “highly likely” the NBA has a game in Paris again next season. The NBA is also looking at trying to get a game in Greece; Silver mentioned that Giannis Antetokounmpo has told him multiple times he wants the Bucks to play a game in his home country,” via The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov.
Even while it might take some time until a game is played on Greek land, considering Giannis’ connections to the region and the NBA’s determination to grow, it seems inevitable. Given that Giannis is considered somewhat of a legend in his own Greece, there is little question that the venue will be packed on game day.
Giannis almost returned to Greece
For those who don’t know, Giannis had a difficult road to fame. Giannis and his family didn’t have a lot of material possessions while growing up in poverty, which frequently resulted in awkward situations. But after he arrived in the NBA and understood how challenging it would be to be successful, he almost gave up and returned home before his journey with the Bucks had started.
“He was without his family because they couldn’t get the proper visas. They got denied twice to come to America. He felt so lonely to the point where his brother told me, Alex, that Giannis told his family. If you guys can’t come over here, I’m leaving. I’m going back to Greece. Imagine if he would have left, there would be no Giannis, there would be no Greek Freak. He was really close to that, it was really painful and hard,” author Mirin Fader said who wrote Giannis’ biography.
In order to make it to the NBA, Giannis had to sacrifice a lot, even his own family. But he somehow persisted and developed into the NBA great that we are all familiar with today.