NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo Actually Looks Human Swinging a Baseball Bat

If his swings in the Yankees' batting cage are any indication, Giannis Antetokounmpo won't move from the NBA to baseball anytime soon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo might already be one of the NBA’s most popular players. He’s a perennial All-Star, the reigning MVP, and one of the most skilled big men that the league has ever seen. If this keeps up, he may be one of the biggest names in the NBA since Michael Jordan. However, there may be one difference that separates him from other basketball superstars. 

Giannis at bat?

The New York Yankees recently posted a video of Giannis taking a few swings off the tee during a visit to the Bronx. Could this mean that Antetokounmpo is trying to become a basketball-to-baseball crossover star? Not so fast; it appeared to be a fun photo opp for the larger than life forward. Those who saw the video of him swinging will notice how awkward he looked doing so, which makes sense. He grew up in Greece, after all, which isn’t known for its baseball.

The video took place when the Yankees honored Antetokounmpo at a game against the Rays. The visit appeared to be in good fun. He held a baseball (which looked like a golf ball inside his large hands), met some players, and hit the ball. One striking photo even included Antetokounmpo next to the typically giant CC Sabathia and making him look tiny in the process! 

It appears as if Giannis Antetokounmpo has no future in baseball, but with the Bucks being one of the youngest and most talented teams, focusing on the NBA is just fine.

The MVP season

Giannis Antetokounmpo landed outside of the lottery in the 2013 NBA draft, and he has made the league regret it ever since. While he only averaged 6.8 points per game as a rookie to go along with two assists and four rebounds, he quickly emerged as a star. In this past season, his output was downright absurd, with him putting up almost 28 points to go along with twelve rebounds and six assists. With that kind of stat line, it’s no wonder he won the NBA MVP award.

It was not a case of a good player putting up inflated numbers on a bad team, either. The Bucks won 60 games, which was tops in the Eastern Conference. The team eventually fell to NBA champion Raptors, but they had one of the best Bucks seasons in recent history, and they appear to be poised to stay for a long time. 

The Bucks’ offseason

Giannis Antetokounmpo is better suited for the basketball court than the baseball field.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s skills are best-suited for the basketball court. | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Bucks were one of the most consistent teams in the NBA, but they were also quite young. While Malcolm Brogdon has since moved on to Indiana, the Bucks kept their duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton intact. What they added around the duo was experience. 

One notable aspect of the Bucks’ offseason is the theme of brotherly love. While brotherhood is a key across men’s sports everywhere, the Bucks seem intent on taking this quite literally. They not only brought in Robin Lopez to play alongside his twin brother, Brook, but brought in Giannis’s own brother, Thanasis, who may not play a lot, but should be a welcome addition to the team.

The team also added shooting in the form of one of the best shooters ever to play the game, Kyle Korver. Korver may be 37 years old, but he nearly automatic from downtown, even as he’s bounced around the league in recent years. The Bucks appear to be poised to either recreate or surpass the success of last year, and with the Raptors losing Kawhi Leonard, they may be the favorites to win the East.

Don’t look for Giannis Antetokounmpo on the diamond

Giannis Antetokounmpo may not have a future in baseball, but his basketball career is just getting started. An underdog story, he has quickly become a fan favorite, and even if he won’t be taking his talents to the MLB, the NBA is better with him there.