Naomi Osaka gleans life-changing insights from NBA star

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka has joined a bevvy of sportspeople applauding basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo for speaking up against the framing of sporting losses as ‘failures’.

Antetokounmpo articulated something that has resonated with a number of athletes around the world.

His words have captured the essence of what it means to be an elite athlete.

The Milwaukee Bucks star was responding to a question from a member of the press in the wake of his team’s exit from the NBA playoffs.

“You asked me the same question last year, Eric. Okay. Do you get a promotion every year on your job? No, right, so every year you work is a failure? Yes or no? No. Every year you work, you work towards something. Towards a goal, right? Which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said.

“It’s not a failure, it’s steps to success. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships, the other nine years, was it failure?

“That’s what you’re telling me? It’s a wrong question. There is no failure in sports. There’s good days, bad days. Some days you’re able to be successful, some days you’re not,” he added.

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion who has endured struggles with her mental health, believes that this perspective is game-changing for athletes.

“This is probably the most refreshing perspective I’ve heard. I think it changed my life, lol,” Osaka wrote on her Instagram stories.

There are those who believe that Osaka might not return to the sport after she gives birth.

However, Osaka has said that she wants to return in time for a tilt at an Olympic gold medal in Paris next year.

“I really want to play again, when I found out I was pregnant I said to myself, ‘Okay, after that, I will definitely play better’. I am convinced that this baby will inspire me to try even harder and give my best,” Naomi Osaka told Japanese TV.

“I want to win eight more Grand Slams and try to win the gold medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It’s one of the goals that excites me the most about returning to sport,” she added.

Naomi Osaka is expecting her first child with partner, Cordae, who is a hip hop artist from the United States.

Her 2022 season was marred by injury but she has talked the talk as far as a return to competition is concerned.

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