President Obama botches pronunciation of ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo’ during speech in Greece
“Giannis Antetokounmpo” is a lot to tackle for the American tongue.
First, you got the “Giannis” part. Not a tiny hill here.
Is it a hard “G” or soft? Something in the middle? Already you're hitting stumbling blocks, and you haven't even gotten to “Antetokounmpo” just a Kilimanjaro of switchback “T”s and “N”s slammed right up “M”s.
Until you've mastered it, it's a lot easier to refer to the Milwaukee Bucks' 6-foot-11 point guard as The Greek Freak. But when you're President Obama and you're addressing a body of foreign dignitaries in Greece, you have to try to pronounce Giannis' full name and just pray you don't botch it too badly.
This is exactly what happened on Tuesday, per Yahoo! Sports' Ben Rohrbach. President Obama was speaking at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, when he began praising Antetokounmpo — who is from Greece — as one of the NBA's most gifted rising stars. And just like you and me, he didn't exactly stick the landing.
“We're all cheering for Giannis … Ant-de…ta-koompoe … who seems to be getting better each year.”
He got out the starting blocks alright! That's good! That second part … well, you know. You chuck up a prayer and hope for rain. It should be noted that Bulls announcer Stacey King did a lot worse barely a month ago.
As did Antetokounmpo's teammates when he first entered the league in 2013.
So yeah — don't beat yourself up, President Obama.
You gave it a roll, and at the very least, were willing to have your hands compared to those of the man whose name defies pronunciation.
We won't be seeing this again in the White House any time soon.
Dan is on Twitter. There are grown adults who still spell “Dwyane Wade” wrong so who are we to judge?
Here's Obama comparing hands with Giannis, which is presumably now Trump's greatest fear in life. pic.twitter.com/0uWdyzuPa3
— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) April 3, 2016