Giannis Antetokounmpo was making over $1 million in salary when he first signed with the Bucks in 2013, but the extra padding in his bank account didn't affect his frugality.
In this week's regional cover story for Sports Illustrated, SI's Lee Jenkins writes how Antetokounmpo made fast friends with Bucks' assistant video coordinator Ross Geiger when the Greek moved to Milwaukee. But their friendship didn't inspire him to share his wealth.
Geiger was Antetokounmpo’s best friend in Milwaukee, the one who oversaw his graduation from EDM to hip-hop, and instructed him on which lyrics he could sing in public and which he could not. But when they ate dinner, even at McDonald’s, Antetokounmpo insisted on splitting the bill. Either he didn’t comprehend how much more he earned than a video guy, or he couldn’t bear to part with the cash.
But don't worry. It appears Antetokounmpo has finally grasped that he is rich enough to pick up the check.
When Giannis inked his four-year, $100 million extension in September—after postponing the signing by four hours to accommodate a morning workout—he called Bucks co-owner Wes Edens at his hotel in Ireland. “I just wanted to say thank you for the money,” Antetokounmpo started. “It means so much to me and my family. I’m going to work very hard for it.” Then he offered to buy friends and family steak at the Capital Grille in Milwaukee for lunch. When the meat arrived, with appetizers and side dishes, Giannis looked alarmed. “I don’t know who’s paying for all this,” he cracked, “because I only said I’d get the steak.”
He has also since made up for his previous thriftiness to Geiger, declaring he would buy his meal at a trip to Wingstop.
Sharing is caring, Giannis.