I’m not going to lie: it took me a while to learn how to say, and how to correctly type, the name of Milwaukee Bucks Greek Army knife Giannis Antetokounmpo. (My mnemonic device: “Let’s listen to ‘Ante Up,’ former Nets forward Toko Shengelia, at the United Nations; that is my preferred option.”) Through three years of practice, repetition and that dope-as-hell device, though, I’ve been able to get it down; now, with a little luck, I can successfully trot out “YAHN-iss ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh.”
I think Chicago Bulls color commentator Stacey King needs more luck, more practice, a hard reboot and/or to be put in rice.
First, credit where it’s due: King nailed the “Giannis” part. Even after three seasons, including a triple-double-filled breakout second half last year where he became something like the Bucks’ point power forward, lots of people still go with the hard “gee” sound. That’s not right. This is. So far, so good.
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OK, let’s hear that last part again.
Now, reasonable people might have different transcriptions. Upon further review, what I’ve got written here is “Ah-duh-grrr-rum-bo.” Which, again: not a bad start! The first two chunks are OK enough. It’s in the middle that King crumbles into a pile of consonants, compounding the carnage by deciding that Giannis’ Greek surname would benefit from Spanish-style rolled r’s. There is no benefit. There is only … Chewbacca, I guess? Or maybe Adult Bart Simpson After A Xanax?
King’s far from the first person to struggle with the name Antetokounmpo, and even if “The Greek Freak” ascends to All-Star status this season, the bet is that this particular household name might still wind up getting lost in translation every now and again. Still, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so let’s study up and hear it from the man himself:
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Now just run that back a few thousand times before the next Bucks-Bulls preseason game on Oct. 15, Mr. King, and everything should be cream cheese. (Or, if all else fails, just go with “Giannis.” You’ve already got that one down cold.)
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