Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo became a father on Monday after his longtime girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger gave birth to the couple's first child. Giannis took to Twitter to express his joy by sharing a photo of his newborn son Liam Charles Antetokounmpo. 'The Greek Freak' is now hoping that fatherhood inspires him to improve as a player in general.
Liam Charles Antetokounmpo in the house❤️ pic.twitter.com/yVSf0U93le— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 10, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed Milwaukee Bucks' win over Sacramento Kings due to the birth of his son, admitted that he intends to take inspiration from Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet and improve his game. Speaking to ESPN, Giannis admitted that the birth of his child is motivating him already.
Giannis further shed light on his childhood stating that he was always an excited kid who asked questions all the time. Equally excited to be a father, the Bucks star is hoping to take his newfound motivation to the court and step up for his side.
"Look at Fred VanVleet, He started making all those shots when he had his kid. Maybe that happens to me also. Who knows?" - Giannis Antetokoumpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo cited the example of Raptors star Fred VanVleet, whom he met in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals. VanVleet's was shooting a mere 20% of his shots across the first three games. Then his son, Fred Jr., was born and VanVleet posted 3 points off the bench in Game 4, shooting a whopping 68% of his shots in the final three games.
Despite leading 2-0, Raptors dramatically turned around the tie to win the Conference finals 4-2. Raptors went on to beat Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals to win the first NBA championship in their history.
Coming back to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek star has already improved his game from last season. He was averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds last season. This season, the 25-year-old is averaging 30 points and 13.5 rebounds and is in contention to win the NBA MVP again. If the Buck star does manage to improve his shooting, which is already at 54.9%, it will surely be deadly for the rest of the sides in the NBA teams.