Giannis Antetokounmpo is regarded one of the most talented players in the NBA. While his journey to greatness can be credited to his perseverance and natural talent, it didn’t come without, according to him, adhering to an invaluable piece of advice he had received in his early playing days.
As the Greek Freak shared in a chat with Marc Spears of The Undefeated, he received some valuable wisdom during his rookie season from Dikembe Mutombo, who highlighted the importance of self-care.
Mutombo Told Giannis Never To Leave The Arena Without Icing The Knees And Ankles
“I knew who he was,” said Antetokounmpo. “He came and approached me. Huge guy. He said: ‘You got to make sure you take care of your body. You have to make sure you are coachable. You have to make sure you ice. You have to make sure you sleep.’ He was giving me advice on how I was going to prolong my career in the league. He said, ‘A lot of people come into the league with great talent but they don’t last long. They’re not healthy. The average of being in the NBA is four years. How do you beat that?’ That’s the first step. He said never leave the arena or practice facility without icing your knees and ankles and take care of your body. Since then, I’ve done it every single day.”
Mutombo was absolutely right, and it may be part of the reason Giannis has had such a successful career, playing at the elite level.
It is true that a lot of players only last for a few years before they’re out of the NBA completely. A lot of that has to do with how the players maintain themselves as playing so many games is bound to take toll on their bodies.
Giannis has been fortunate enough to remain free of major injuries and elongate his durability so far.Through 8 years in the NBA, he’s averaging 29.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game on 54.8% shooting.