"Q&A With Mirin Fader: Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP"

Mirin Fader

Author: Mirin Fader

Author Bio:

"Mirin Fader is a staff writer for The Ringer. She wrote for Bleacher Report from 2017 to 2020. Her work has been honored by the Pro Writers Basketball Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the U.S. Writers Basketball Association, the Football Writers Association of America, and the Los Angeles Press Club. She was named a Top Women in Media in the "Up and Comer" category in 2019, and her work has been featured in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
 
Fader has profiled some of the NBA's biggest stars, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ja Morant, Brandon Ingram, and LaMelo Ball, but she focuses more on the person rather than the player. Her approach is that she writes about people who happen to play sports, telling the backstories that shape some of our most complex, most dominant, heroes."

 

1.  In your opinion, what’s the difference, if any, between Giannis, the person, and “The Greek Freak” persona on the court?

Giannis is extremely hard working on and off the court. He’s driven, passionate, instinctual, and competitive. However, he becomes almost like a silent assassin on the court. The deeply thoughtful, humble, charismatic person disappears. 

 

2.  What was it about Giannis’ upbringing that sparked the tenacity he plays with? 

Giannis grew up watching his parents go one or two days without eating food. That caused him to mature quickly, and approach life with a mentality that nothing will be handed to him, and he will have to earn everything he gets. His parents never had to tell him to work hard. He just had to watch them and see how hard they worked to put food on the table. 

 

3.  What’s a story about Giannis’ upbringing that wasn’t previously shared, that you are really excited about sharing to the world?

Giannis experienced a great deal of racism growing up. Fans would hurl racist comments at him at away games. Thus is the part of his story that was swept under the rug.

 

4.  When did you first learn of Giannis Antetokounmpo?

I’ve been aware of him since he was a rookie. I was intrigued by his backstory because we didn’t know much about him as a society.

 

5.  In your opinion, what does the Bucks’ recent NBA championship mean for Giannis’ legacy? Also, seeing as you wrote most if not all the book before the championship was won, how has this new accomplishment changed your written narrative? 

Winning the championship cements Giannis as one of the greatest all time players. He could very well become the face of the NBA.  He has done what very few modern superstars do: he bet on himself and a small market franchise, proving you don’t need to be on a superteam to win. Though my book was due March 1, 2021, I still feel the ending holds up even without the championship because it is a love letter to the city of Milwaukee for sticking by this team through heartache and triumph. 

 

6.  What made you interested in telling Giannis's story? And what has his story taught you about yourself?

I wanted to tell Giannis’ story because I felt it was deeply human and that his story was bigger than basketball.  It’s important to write about athletes as people, not just as millionaire superstars. I wrote and reported this book during the pandemic and it taught me to be resilient and resourceful.

 

7.  Overall, what do you hope readers get from this book? 

I hope readers understand Giannis as a person and the incredible odds stacked against him. I hope they see that he is relatable, and vulnerable, and though his obstacles are different than readers', we can all see ourselves in his story.

 

8.  What’s the best book you have read thus far this year? 

A Girl is a Body Of Water

 

9.  What was your writing process like for this book? 

I interviewed 221 people close to Giannis including him and his family and wrote about 20,000 words per month.

 

10.  Do you plan on writing more books in the future?

Yes, I would love to. I hope I get the opportunity again.

 

 

Places To Find More From This Author:

Twitter: @MirinFader

Linkedin: Mirin Fader

Website: www.mirinfader.com

 

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