Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lead Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA Championship in 50 years on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
Popularly called the Greek Freak, Giannis and the Bucks won four consecutive games to hold off the Phoenix Suns with 105-98 wins in game 6 of the NBA Finals and captured the franchise’s first championship in half a century.
Antetokounmpo, who has now scored over 40 points in three of his last NBA Finals, won the Bill Russel NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Antetokounmpo is the fifth international player to win the award, joining the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Tony Parker, Tim Ducan and Dirk Nowitzki.
Antetokounmpo now joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as only players to win MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year since the inception of DPOY in 1983.
He is the ninth player to win multiple MVPs and a Finals MVP in his career.
Antetokounmpo 50 points were tied for the most all-time in a closeout game of the NBA Finals, going by ESPN numbers. Greek Freak equals Bob Pettit’s 50 points scored against the Boston Celtics for St. Louise Hawks in Game 6 of the 1958 NBA Finals.
Born on December 6, 1994, in Greece to Nigerian parents. Antetokounmpo’s parents had relocated from Lagos three years earlier to seek greener pasture, leaving behind their firstborn son, Francis, with his grandparents. Although Antetokounmpo and three of his four brothers were born in Greece, they did not automatically receive full Greek citizenship as Greek nationality law follows jus sanguinis. For the first 18 years of his life, Antetokounmpo was effectively stateless, having no papers from Nigeria or Greece. After gaining Greek citizenship in 2013, his family Hellenized their surname from Adetokunbo to Antetokounmpo to more closely follow Greek spelling rules.
Antetokounmpo grew up in the Athens neighborhood of Sepolia. His parents, as immigrants, could not easily find work, so Giannis and his older brother, Thanasis, helped by hawking watches, handbags and sunglasses in the streets. In 2007, Antetokounmpo started playing basketball. When he officially gained Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013, his name was officially romanized as Giannis Antetokounmpo. His nickname is the “Greek Freak”.
Three of the Antetokounmpos have now won NBA championships, Kostas Antetokounmpo won with the Lakers in 2020 while Giannis and Thanasis won with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.
All Giannis Awards and Honours
- NBA Champion: 2021
- NBA Finals MVP: 2021
- 2× NBA Most Valuable Player: 2019, 2020
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2020
- 5× NBA All-Star: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
- NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2021
- NBA Most Improved Player: 2017
- 5× All-NBA Selection:
- All-NBA First Team: 2019, 2020, 2021
- All-NBA Second Team: 2017, 2018
- 4× All-Defensive Selection:
- NBA All-Defensive First Team: 2019, 2020, 2021
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team: 2017
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team: 2014
- Euroscar European Player of the Year: 2018
Premier League Generated Over €68B of Wagers, more than Serie A and Bundesliga Combined
Europe’s sports betting market has gained quite momentum in recent years, with millions of sports fans across the continent wagering billions of euros on the outcome of an event or game. Although the frequency of sports bets varies from country to country, the vast majority of wagers are placed on football, as the most popular sport to bet on in Europe. However, there are significant differences between the wagers in each of the European football leagues.
According to data presented by Safebetting, English Premier League generated over €68bn of wagers worldwide, more than Serie A and Bundesliga matches combined.
Premier League Matches Brought 70% More Wagers than Spanish or Italian Football Leagues
Football betting is by far the most popular type of gambling in Europe, with the United Kingdom and Italy as the leading markets. While some sports fans wager on the outcome of the event or match to make money, others take pleasure in getting into the middle of the action.
According to a Statista data and Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio 2021 study, the total amount wagered in the sports betting market worldwide amounted to roughly €1.5trn last year, and European football made around €188bn or 12% of that value.
When looking at the global amount wagered on European football, the Premier League recorded the highest figure last season. Statistics show that in 2020, bets on Premier League matches generated over €68 billion worldwide or 70% more than matches in Spanish La Liga or Italian Serie A.
According to the survey, the global amount wagered on La Liga hit around €41bn last season. Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, and French Ligue 1 followed, with €38.4bn, €27.8bn, and €11.8bn, respectively.
European Football Industry Earned Nearly €425M in Revenue from Betting Sponsors in 2020/21 Season
Besides bringing hundreds of millions of euros in wagers, gambling companies have had a considerable role in generating revenue for the European football clubs through different betting sponsorship agreements.
According to the GlobalData survey, the European football industry earned around €425 million in revenue from betting sponsors in the 2020/21 season, or 78% of the betting industry’s overall sponsorship spend within Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Due to its massive TV audience, English Football League was the biggest beneficiary of this. Statistics show that professional football clubs from England earned over €122 million in the 2020/2021 season, more than double that of any other European market. Spanish football was estimated to make over €60 million from the betting industry, while another €49 million was spent on German football.
Oleksandr Usyk Defeats Anthony Joshua to Emerge the New Heavyweight Champion of the World
Oleksandr Usyk, Ukrainian undefeated unified Cruiserweight of the world, defeated Anthony Joshua in a largely one sided fight in Tottenham, United Kingdom.
The Ukrainian won unanimously on the three scorecards, 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, to emerge the new heavyweight champion of the world.
Anthony Joshua was outboxed and outclassed from the very first round to the 12th round. Flat footed in the first half of the fight and seems confused and lost with Usyk’s classic movements, jab and the aggressiveness expected from Anthony Joshua.
Usyk was the one that imposed himself on Anthony Joshua and consistently push the former champion back while touching him with jabs.
Joshua was slower – although clearly more powerful – and he did hurt Usyk at times but not enough to break the Ukrainian confidence.
Usyk, in the final round, looks bouncier, more mobile, while Joshua seems to know that he needs to try and unload a big shot or two and knock this man out to have any chance. But it was Usyk who keeps coming forward and forces the former champion on to the back foot.
Joshua ducks and dives as Usyk, who is such an awkward figher, keeps coming forward and keeps throwing shots. Joshua winds up a big right hand but misses. The two trade blows before the bell and Joshua is rocked! Joshua was nearly knocked out in round 12.
Anthony Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, who spoke after the fight said: “I spoke to him … obviously it was a tough fight, a gruelling fight … a devastating defeat. Congrats to Usyk, what a fighter, the better man won. The danger was you overthink it and try and be too technical and don’t use your attributes … it was all the things you worry about against a fighter like Usyk. No complaints from AJ, he’ll get up, and he’ll go again. This was just being beat by a better man on the night.”
Chris Eubank Jr, who works as Skysport pundit for the fight, said “I’m gobsmacked, flabbergasted … I didn’t see the fight going that way at all. It’s only his [Usyk’s] third heavyweight fight. It was a masterclass. One of the biggest statements in boxing for a very long time. Full credit to the guy.”
“It was just a boxing clinic,” adds another pundit.
Delighted former Ukrainian world’s heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, told Sky: “Excellent fight … very clever. I’m very happy. Actually he did a perfect job.” Usyk then arrives on the scene during the interview and Klitschko congratulates him heartily.
Anthony Joshua is now had 26 fights with 24 wins (22 KO) and 2 losses.
NFF, Premier Lotto Sign $972,053 Partnership Agreement
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has signed a N400 million deal, about $972,053 with Premier Lotto also known as Baba Ijebu, the latest in the past couple of weeks.
President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick stated this on Monday when he featured on ARISE News’ The Morning Show. The partnership will run for an initial renewable three years.
Mr. Pinnick said the deals have been made possible because of the integrity posture of Nigeria football. He had also led the federation in sealing deals with the leading airline, Air Peace as the Official Airline of Nigerian National Teams, and with MTN as the Official Communications Partner of the Super Eagles and the National Teams.
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