Milwaukee Bucks ended a 50-year drought to win the NBA Championship. The architect of the instrumental series win was arguably, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak registered a finals performance for the ages and was rightly awarded the finals MVP as well, but it came with its own struggles.
Giannis suffered a scary knee injury that kept him out of the closing stages of their triumph in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks. While deemed fit to play in the finals, nobody knew what to expect.
The two-time NBA Player of the year was a menace in the paint throughout the series. He overshadowed Devin Booker with exploits of his own and led the Bucks to a championship after being 2-0 down.
Mike Budenholzer’s ploy to reduce rotation had an impact on Giannis as well, who was just coming off an injury. He clocked an average of over 40 minutes played in the finals. The added minutes did take a toll on Giannis though.
Giannis even struggled to get through press conferences
After his game-winning display in Game 5 at Phoenix, Giannis had to leave the press conference right after his commencement. As it turns out, he required an IV treatment due to severe dehydration. According to a report from The Athletic:
When Antetokounmpo had come to his postgame press conference after Game 5, he sat with a grimace and said, “I can’t,” before leaving the room and returning more than 30 minutes later. In between, sources say he was extremely sick to his stomach from dehydration and even received fluid IV treatment after his 32-point, nine-rebound, six-assist performance.
Moreover, the report even claims that The Greek Freak was in discomfort after his phenomenal performance in Game 6. He was reportedly holding his stomach in discomfort and ‘chugged bottles of Gatorade bottles while making his way to interview stations’.
This makes his Game 6 masterpiece even more remarkable. He netted 50 points and 14 rebounds at the Fiserv Forum to seal the series. He became only the seventh player to register 50 points in the NBA Finals and entered history with several other records following one of the greatest series closing performances.