At 27, Nigerian-born Giannis Antetokounmpo is the youngest and 4th highest paid NBA player, earning $86.5 million in 2022

Ben Ebuka December 25, 2022
Giannis Antetokounmpo. Photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Forbes NBA highest-Paid Players 2022, Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo, age 27, is the 4th highest-paid NBA player with an earning of $86.5 million. His earnings comprised $42.5 million ON-COURT and $44 million OFF-COURT. He currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 28-year-old Greek-Nigerian NBA superstar was born December 6, 1994, in Sepolia, Athens, to Nigerian immigrants. Life in Sepolia was difficult as his parents struggled to find steady employment. The Greece law prohibiting granting citizenship by birth made issues worse for him, his siblings, and her parents, who were also undocumented immigrants. To survive, the kids joined their parents in selling goods on the street or at beaches.

His real Nigerian name was Sina Ugo Adetokunbo. After gaining Greek citizenship in 2013, he assumed Antetokounmpo (Αντετοκούνμπο), the transliterated (letter-for-letter) Greek version of Adetokunbo as his official name.

Career Start

At age 13, Giannis was spotted by a Greek man named Spiros Velliniatis, while Giannis was playing on the street as usual with his siblings. Spiros said he felt a divine inspiration prompting him to pay attention to Giannis. He noticed the limbs of the young lad and his athletics gift as he ran around the play arena.

He introduced Giannis and his brothers to the youth teams of Filathlitikos, a medium club in the suburb of Zografou in Athens, where they played in the second division. In 2011, he began playing for the senior team in Filathlitikos, from where he joined the 2013 NBA draft and was selected 15th overall by Milwaukee Bucks.

In 2017, his success and road to stardom began to manifest when he was named the Most Improved Player. After that award, he was selected six times as an All-Star, including emerging as the All-Star captain in 2019 and 2020.

He also won consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, making history as the third player, after Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, in NBA history to win double MVPs before turning 26.

His sterling performances landed him a five-year supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020, worth $228 million, along with endorsement deals from Nike, 2K Sports, and Kraken.


  • NBA All-Rockie Second Team – 2014
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team – 2017
  • NBA Most Improved Player – 2017
  • All NBA Second Team – 2017, 2018
  • Euroscar Player of the Year – 2018
  • NBA Most Valuable Player – 2019, 2020
  • NBA Defensive Player of the year – 2020
  • NBA Champion 2021
  • NBA Finals MVP – 2021
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP – 2021
  • NBA All-Star Valuable Player – 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • All-NBA First Team – 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team – 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team
  • FIBA EuroBasket Top Scorer – 2022

Of all the top ten earners, Giannis is the only one yet to turn 30. He was the subject of ‘Rise,’ a film released on Disney+ in June.

Others on the top 10 list include:

1. Lebron James (124.5M)

2. Stephen Curry ($95.1M)

3. Kevin Durant ($88M)

5. Russell Westbrook ($82.1)

6. Klay Thompson ($60.6M)

7. Damian Lillard ($60.5M)

8. James Harden ($53M)

9. Paul George ($51M)

10. Jimmy Butler ($49.7)

Last Edited by:seo zimamedia Updated: January 27, 2023


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