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Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo Files $2M Lawsuit over 'Greek Freak' Trademark

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo runs the offense against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 1, 2020. Milwaukee won 93-85. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has filed a lawsuit against the Fan Closet website for selling "Greek Freak" merchandise. He's seeking at least $2 million in damages.

Dean Balsamini of the New York Post reported Saturday that Antetokounmpo, who owns a trademark for the Greek Freak nickname, filed documents in a New York City federal court against Fan Closet's operators, California residents Phil Willett and Stefen Hill, after they failed to handle the situation "in good faith."

The 25-year-old reigning NBA MVP sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company March 27 and, while it scrubbed the website of merchandise barring the moniker, Fan Closet didn't reach an agreement that "would ensure that infringement has ceased," per Balsamini.

Antetokounmpo's filing says he should be "reasonably compensated for the damage he incurred" for the unlicensed items, which included phone cases, hoodies, baby onesies and bodysuits, according to the New York Post.

The Athens, Greece, native filed a similar lawsuit in defense of the Greek Freak trademark against a Pennsylvania-based artist in July 2019. The sides reached an undisclosed settlement last September.

Greek Freak is a nickname "that fits me," Antetokounmpo told reporters in June.

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The four-time All-Star had emerged as the MVP favorite once again while leading the Bucks to an NBA-best 53-12 record before the 2019-20 season was delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic.

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