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Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA Champion

Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA Champion

by Mirin Fader
Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA Champion

Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA Champion

by Mirin Fader

Paperback

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Overview

The story of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s extraordinary rise from poverty in Athens, Greece, to superstardom in America with the Milwaukee Bucks—becoming one of the most transcendent players in history and an NBA Champion—from award-winning basketball reporter and feature writer at The Ringer Mirin Fader. Now in paperback with a new Epilogue.
 
As the face of the NBA’s new world order, Giannis Antetokounmpo has overcome unfathomable obstacles to become a symbol of hope for people all over the world; the personification of the American Dream. But his backstory remains largely untold. Fader unearths new information about the childhood that shaped “The Greek Freak”—from sleeping side by side with his brothers to selling trinkets on the street with his family to the racism he experienced. Antetokounmpo grew up in an era when Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right, anti-immigrant party, patrolled his neighborhood, and his status as an illegal immigrant largely prevented him from playing for the country’s top clubs, making his NBA rise all the more improbable. Fader tells a deeply human story of how an unknown, skinny, Black Greek teen, who played in the country’s lowest pro division and was seen as a draft gamble, transformed his body and his game into MVP material.

Antetokounmpo’s story has been framed as a feel-good narrative in which everyone has embraced him—watching him grow up, sign a five-year supermax contract extension worth $228 million, and lead the underdog Bucks to the NBA Championship in 2021. Giannis reveals a more nuanced story: how lonely and isolated he felt, adjusting to America and the NBA early in his career; the complexity of grappling with his Black and Greek identities; how he is so hard on himself and his shortcomings—a drive that fuels him every day; and the responsibility he feels to be a nurturing role model for his younger brothers. Fader illustrates a more vulnerable star than most people know, a person who has evolved triumphantly into all of his roles: father, brother, son, teammate, and global icon.

**Instant New York Times Bestseller, Los Angeles Times Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, Publishers Weekly Bestseller**

**Mirin Fader Selected as the 2021 Sports Media Author of the Year by The Big Lead**



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306924118
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/12/2022
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 29,424
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mirin Fader is a senior staff writer for The Ringer. She wrote for Bleacher Report from 2017 to 2020. Her work has been honored by the Pro Writers Basketball Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the U.S. Writers Basketball Association, the Football Writers Association of America, and the Los Angeles Press Club. She was named a Top Women in Media in the "Up and Comer" category in 2019, and her work has been featured in the "Best American Sports Writing" series. Fader has profiled some of the NBA's biggest stars, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ja Morant, Brandon Ingram, and LaMelo Ball, but she focuses more on the person rather than the player. Her approach is that she writes about people who happen to play sports, telling the backstories that shape some of our most complex, most dominant, heroes.

Table of Contents

Prologue xv

Chapter 1 Hunger 1

Chapter 2 Dreaming 21

Chapter 3 Stateless 49

Chapter 4 Found 73

Chapter 5 America 106

Chapter 6 Lonely 138

Chapter 7 Hope 157

Chapter 8 Reunited 178

Chapter 9 Mean 195

Chapter 10 Star 222

Chapter 11 Loss 246

Chapter 12 Identity 262

Chapter 13 Freak 275

Chapter 14 MVP 294

Chapter 15 Home 311

Epilogue 323

Acknowledgments 335

Notes 339

Index 383

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