I’m not going to lie to you — when I used “Giannis Antetokounmpo” in the title of this post, I copy-and-pasted it so that I didn’t mess it up. And honestly, I did it again in that previous sentence. And to be even more honest, I’ll probably keep doing that unless he becomes such a notable guy in the NBA that I accidentally memorize how to spell it whenever his name comes up.
And you know what? I don’t feel bad about it, mostly because I know I’m in the same boat as the guy who just drafted him in to the NBA. From the Milwaukee Sports Journal:
It’s a name difficult to pronounce, even for the man who drafted the newest Milwaukee Bucks player, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“After the draft, probably 11:30,” Bucks General Manager John Hammond said, “I said to (Media Relations Director) Dan Smyczek, ‘can you forward that pronunciation to me?’ Yeah. So…we’re doing our best.”
For the record, Giannis Antetokounmpo is pronounced [YAHN-is anh-teh-toe-KUHN-po], but for now , simply “Giannis” will probably suffice when addressing Antetokounmpo.
A little digging shows that Giannis “CTRL-C, CTRL-V” Antetokounmpo, whenever he makes it to the NBA, may have the longest single last name (Chris Douglas-Roberts doesn’t count) in the NBA since this guy messed around for the Cavaliers half a decade ago. So really, you can’t blame John Hammond for not knowing the pronunciation, because it’s basically impossible to keep all those vowels and consonants straight in the first place, let alone trying to figure out how they actually relate to each other. Plus, when you consider league officials didn’t even know how to correctly spell his name until a month before the draft, I think this is a pretty forgivable offense.
The person I really feel bad for in all of this, however, is the equipment manager in charge of stitching the names on the backs of the Bucks’ jerseys. Between Antetokounmpo, Mbah a Moute and Ilyasova, they’ve got their work cut out for them. And if Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla somehow find their way back in to the fold? Yikes.