Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Antetokounmpo on first NBA practice: ‘I loved it’

Former Dayton Flyers forward will start play in NBA Summer League on Friday

The Mavericks start play at 9:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN) against the Phoenix Suns and then play the Milwaukee Bucks at 7 p.m. Sunday (NBA TV) and the Golden State Warriors at 7:30 p.m. Monday (NBA TV). Each team plays three games in the preliminary rounds before being seeded in a tournament.

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Antetokounmpo, who the Mavericks selected with the last pick of the draft in June, met with reporters in Dallas for the first time Monday after the team held its first practice for the summer league. The Mavericks’ other draft picks, Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson, also practiced.

“It was perfect. This was my first NBA practice,” Antetokounmpo said, “and I loved it. I had fun. We competed.”

In an interview posted to Mavs.com, Antetokounmpo spoke about his experience on draft night, the advice his brother Giannis Antetokounmpo has given him and more:

On being drafted 60th: “I was really excited. I kind of didn’t expect to be the last pick. I watched the whole draft. I saw 59, and I was like, ‘I’m about to grab something to eat.’ I’m on my way out, and they say my name, so I go back. I’m excited to be here, and I’m happy they picked me.”

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On the pressure of being the brother of one of the NBA’s best players: “I feel like it’s good pressure. I wouldn’t say it’s bad pressure that would make me a worse player. It just motivates me to make me better. Everybody has pressure.”

On advice he gets from Giannis: “Enjoy life. It’s short. Basketball-wise, he always tells me to play hard. You can’t always make all the shots or you can’t always look good, but you can always play hard and you can always give effort.”

On the difficulty of living with a name that’s hard to spell and pronounce: “I give fake names. My Uber is Gus something. I’m dead serious. Even when I go to the airport, they can’t say my name. When I order food, I just give a fake name. Most of the time I say, ‘Trey.’”

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