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Volume 27 No. 10
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Antetokounmpo Poised To Become Face Of NBA, If He Wants To

Antetokounmpo became the first European-born player to have a signature Nike shoe
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Antetokounmpo became the first European-born player to have a signature Nike shoe
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Antetokounmpo became the first European-born player to have a signature Nike shoe
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The basketball world will descend upon Chicago in a few days for NBA All-Star Weekend, but Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo "could do without all of it ... except for the game," according to Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. That is the "conundrum for those pushing Antetokounmpo to overtake LeBron James as the sport's most famous player: What if he doesn't want to be the face of the NBA?" Though Antetokounmpo "doesn't seek fame, it finds him." He has the NBA's "second most popular jersey after James and ahead of Stephen Curry." He has more than 7.2 million Instagram followers, which ranks 11th in the NBA and first among international players. Bucks President Peter Feigin said that he could make the case that Antetokounmpo, despite playing in one of the NBA's five smallest markets, is "actually the league's most famous player." Greenstein notes Antetokounmpo partnered with Nike in '17, and last year, "became the first European-born player to have a signature Nike shoe." Feigin said, "We look at it as quality over quantity. What are the right spots? We want to market him as a global brand" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/11).