Giannis looms even larger after championship
In his eight-year career, Giannis Antetokounmpo has climbed virtually every mountain an NBA player can.
League championship? Check. League MVP? Double-check. NBA Finals MVP? Yes that, too, as well as many other laurels.
So what’s next for the athletic big man otherwise known as the “Greek Freak”? Maybe a stint in the White Sox farm system?
Of course, he doesn’t have nearly the resume of Michael Jordan but an argument can be made that Antetokounmpo is the best player of his time. And the scary thing for the rest of the NBA is he wants to get better.
An area of persistent weakness has been his three-point shooting, which over the course of his NBA career has averaged under 30 percent. But in preseason, it appeared he’d been working on that, displaying a quicker and more confident release in games. If he can raise that percentage by another five or six points this season, he’d be nearly unguardable.
He’s coming off one of the finest NBA Finals a player has ever had, averaging 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 61.8 percent. And few will forget his stellar performance in the deciding Game 6 when he scored 50 points with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots to dispatch the Phoenix Suns and give the Bucks their first championship in 50 years.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks can be seen in action twice this week in road games: Tuesday, Nov. 9, on TNT against the Philadelphia 76ers and Friday, Nov. 12, on ESPN against the Boston Celtics.
Name: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Birth date: Dec. 6, 1994
Height/weight: 6 feet, 11 inches/242 pounds
Teams: Filathlitikos B.C. (2012-13); Milwaukee Bucks (2013-present)
Draft: Taken in the first round (15th overall) by the Bucks in 2013
Position: Power forward
Honors and achievements: Five-time NBA All-Star; two-time NBA MVP (2019, 2020); NBA champion (2021); NBA Finals MVP (2021); NBA All-Star Game MVP (2021); NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2020); three-time All-NBA First Team (2019–2021); NBA Most Improved Player (2017)