• Giannis Antetokounmpo's first contract with Nike is worth $25,000 per year
  • He won the MVP last season over James Harden and Kawhi Leonard
  • The Greek Freak is now paid $9 million per year by Nike

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s net worth is worth around $40 million. He is now one of the biggest stars in the NBA and is expected to become the face of the league once LeBron James retires. However, unknown to many, he started from humble beginnings.

Antetokounmpo, also known as The Greek Freak, ranked 26th on Forbes’ highest-paid athlete list in 2019 with $43.2 million earnings. Three years ago, he signed a four-year deal worth $100 million. A lot of experts claim that he could have gotten more from the deal but instead agreed to a lesser amount so that The Milwaukee Bucks can sign good players to surround him with.

The gamble eventually paid off. The Bucks are number one in the Eastern Conference standings. He now has Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Wesley Matthews and Brook Lopez to help him steer the franchise back to glory days.

Aside from his salary, he is also signed to multiple endorsement deals. Nike released his shoe line this year called Nike Air Zoom Freak 1. Antetokounmpo now receives $9 million per year from Nike but he was signed for a mere $20,000 per year deal before blossoming into one of the league’s unstoppable forces.

To be fair, no one expected him to be this good. Yes, he has the size, athleticism and hunger to win but he improved dramatically in recent years. He won the MVP award last season, beating James Harden and Kawhi Leonard in the process. The Greek Freak led the NBA in efficiency rating as he was among the top ten in scoring, rebounding and blocking shots.

The three-time All-Star also represents other brands such as BMO Harris, Tissot, Kronos Foods, Hulu, T-Mobile, JBL, TCL Corp and Aegean Airlines, among others. Despite the fame and massive wealth, he never forgets where he came from. Per Bleacher Report, he has appeared in Make-A-Wish specials and helps the local Boys & Girls Club. Antetokounmpo is also an ambassador of a group that helps families hit hardest by the Greek economic crisis.

What makes him an ideal endorser is that aside from his MVP numbers, he is still young at 25 years old. He remains one of the most likable athletes in any sport. Another story that reflects his humility is that he once ran to the arena to attend the team’s practice. Allegedly, he sent all his salary to his family in Greece which left him with no spare even to pay for a cab fare.

If he continues his ascent to the throne in NBA rankings and remains humble as ever, fans and rivals can expect him to be around for a long time.