Giannis Antetokounmpo met Nick Galis in Athens and their picture together can be characterized as the history of Greek basketball.
The present and the future of Greek basketball, NBA champion, Giannis Antetokounmpo met the legend of Greek basketball, 61-year-old Nick Galis.
The “basketball gangster” — as some call Nick Galis — with his head shaved, was photographed with the “Greek Freak.”
He’s the reason that a lot of people pick up a basketball in Greece 🙏🏽🇬🇷🏆..!! I saw the fire in his eyes.. What a night🔥 Nick the Greek x Greek Freak x Elevator x Theo pic.twitter.com/KxiPjyZfgY
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) September 11, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo carried the NBA trophy with them. Along with Galis and another great player, Theodoris Papaloukas took a picture that is monumental for Greek basketball.
“It’s the reason most people started playing basketball in Greece. I saw the fire in his eyes…What a night. Nick the Greek x Greek Freak x Elevator x Theo,” wrote Giannis Antetokounbo about Galis on his personal Instagram account.
In fact, the photo had a tremendous impact from the beginning, since in less than 30 minutes it received about 150,000 likes.
Nick ‘the Greek’ Galis
Nick Galis is a legendary sports figure in Greece, his name and face is one of the most recognizable in the country.
He was not only the best Greek basketball player; he is the man who singlehandedly made Greeks love the sport of basketball.
He was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1991, was an inaugural member of the FIBA Hall of Fame and was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors in 2008.
He led Greece in winning the Eurobasket Championship in 1987, driving millions of Greeks crazy for the sport, and for himself as a player.
Galis is widely regarded as one of Europe’s greatest scorers to ever play, as well as one of the all-time greatest players in FIBA international basketball history. In 2017, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
On October 20, 1983, the Greek superstar came to play against “Air” (Michael Jordan) when the University of North Carolina team traveled to play a friendly game against Greece’s national team on Alexandreio Court in Thessaloniki.
It was a rare showcase, watching an American team play against Greece’s finest. At the time, Galis was 26 and a must-see for all sports fans. Jordan was only 20, but he was already the king of the court, scoring 34 points against Galis’ 24.
Four years later, Nick Galis led Greece to a gold medal in the European Championships in 1987, and was named MVP, solidifying his status as an icon that contributed mightily to the popularity of the game in his country.
The ‘Greek Freak’ Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the new Greek basketball legend via the United States and the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team.
The kid from Sepolia, Greece, who once sold watches and sunglasses on the streets of Athens to survive, became the King of basketball in July after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title in half a century.
Before winning the NBA title, the 26-year-old won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020.
He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26.
Antetokounmpo’s love of Greece brought him to the country to spend his vacation, where he took with him the cherished NBA trophy.
His meeting with Nick Galis was a real meeting of giants.