“I can get a lot better,” declared Giannis Antetokounmpo following a season-opening triple-double (30 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) while leading Milwaukee to a 117-111 road win against the Houston Rockets.
“There’s so many things where I can improve,” added Antetokounmpo, who estimated this past summer that he’s reached about 60 percent of his basketball potential.
The NBA’s reigning MVP also makes it a point to keep a healthy, competitive distance from fellow superstars.
Per The Athletic:
“I can get a lot better,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic while nodding at his locker after the win on Thursday night. “As I said in the summer, as long as I believe that I can get better, that’s all that matters. And I know that I can get better, because – as you said – I had travels (against the Rockets), I wasn’t able to score in the first quarter, wasn’t able to get a rhythm, wasn’t able to find my teammates. There’s so many things where I can get better. I’m not going to be perfect, but I can get better. It doesn’t matter what people say throughout the league, because a lot of people don’t believe that I can get better. But I do believe that I can get better.
“I fouled out from all the excitement (in the game). So I can get better from staying on the court. There’s so many things where I can improve. And that’s what Coach Bud tells me, and I want to keep doing it until I get it right.”
Imagine if he would have gone to Kobe Bryant’s famed NBA mini-camp.
“I did not get invited,” Antetokounmpo said of Bryant’s camp. “It didn’t surprise me. I’ve connected with Kobe in the past; we text now and then. I think when that was going on, I was on the national team, so I don’t know if I was able to go there. But I don’t know if I would go there if he invited me, because there’s a lot of (other stars). You know, Kyrie (Irving) is a guy who plays for Brooklyn, and (a team) we’re going to play against. Kawhi Leonard (now with the Clippers) was there. A lot of guys was there. AD (the Lakers’ Anthony Davis) was there.
“Man, it’s not that I don’t want to (learn from other stars). I get better every day. I’ll learn from the 15th player on our team. I’ll learn from (Bucks reserve guard) Frank Mason. But my competitive nature is so high that when I go and practice (with other stars), I can’t do it. That’s me. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s me. I just know myself. I know that because I’m a nice person, I’m going to start building relationships (with those other stars). And then I’m going to go against those guys, and they’re going to be my friends.”