Nicknamed the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo has rightfully earned his spot and respect in the NBA. The Greek professional player made his entry to the NBA after being picked by the Milwaukee Bucks as their 15th overall choice in the 2013 draft. However, it was not until the 2016/17 season that his impact was felt as he led the Bucks to massive winning streaks, a feat that saw him earn the award for the Most Improved Player (2017). Since then, he has gone ahead to win two consecutive MVP awards and NBA All-Defensive Player of the Year. Giannis has also been selected to four All-Star Games and been a captain twice in 2019 and 2020.
The Nike Affair
Giannis Antetokounmpo had his first contract with Nike even before being drafted into the NBA. At the time, he was only paid $25,000 a year, but this was quite a deal for the young star who was still making his way to the professional league. After the initial contract came to an end, he spent some time as a sneaker free agent before re-signing with the brand. This time, Giannis shot for the skies and settled on one of the best contracts that will see him receive over $9 million yearly plus own his signature shoe line.
The Birth of the Nike Zoom Freak Shoe Line
After spending close to two years waiting for a signature shoe line, Nike finally unveiled the Nike Zoom Freak 1 on June 29, 2019. This made Giannis Antetokounmpo the 22nd Basketball Player to have a signature shoe line with the Nike brand. As was expected, the company has shown great interest and commitment to keeping this new series of shoes alive, and the NBA world can’t wait for more releases. Currently, Giannis, who wears shoe size 16, thanks to his enormous size standing at 6’11”, has released the following shoe models:
- Nike Zoom Freak 2
This is the second signature shoe for Giannis, and it was released just before the NBA’s Orlando Bubble. These shoes were purposefully designed to match the movements of Giannis, who because of his size and speed, causes so much pressure while making steps. As such, they featured a soft & responsive cushioning, Zoom Air on the forefoot, and wings for stability.
Giannis went ahead to celebrate his family with these shoes, and Nike called the project ‘Creative Family Collective’ as his brothers contributed to the decision-making meetings. Notably, there are the words “I am my father’s legacy” on the sockline, and the traction is a print of Giannis’ roots and journey into the NBA.
- Nike Zoom Freak 1
This was the first signature shoe for Giannis Antetokounmpo, and it lived up to expectations. It featured four containment bands under its mesh upper and a traction pattern that could support the aggressive movements of the NBA star. The shoes were popular for their excellent impact protection and how Giannis outlined his rise to the NBA from being a street vendor. It also introduced the Giannis logo, an interesting symbol created from a blend of the player’s Greek and Nigerian identities.