Giannis Antetokounmpo has transformed into one of the top players in the NBA. For the past several seasons, he has taken the league by storm, playing at a high level. When he’s on the court, he makes his presence known, whether it’s on the offensive or defensive end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo putting together a Hall of Fame career
The 25-year-old has already put together an impressive resume. Antetokounmpo has been in the league for seven seasons and has accomplished a lot. From his rookie season to now, he has shown tremendous improvements and has learned to dominate on the court. Antetokounmpo’s career started to take off during the 2016-17 season. He saw improvements in his numbers as he averaged 22.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. The talented big man received numerous honors that season. He was named to his first All-Star team, and he was named NBA’s Most Improved Player at the end of the season. Antetokounmpo also was an All-NBA Defensive Second Team and All-NBA Second Team selection.
After that season, he started showing more confidence in his game, and his hard work started to pay off. He started to play with the ball in his hands more, and he was able to find ways to get to the rim and score. It’s difficult for defenders to try and stay in front of him with his length, and his strength allows him to finish through contact. While he was playing at a high level, the Bucks were one of the top teams in the league.
He won his first MVP award in 2019 after averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Antetokounmpo deserved the award that season as he led the Bucks to the best record in the league with a 60-22 record. The Bucks had so much success during the regular season in large part of Antetokounmpo’s play on the court.
Giannis continued to dominate during the 2019-20 season
Despite having the season suspended and shortened due to COVID-19, Antetokounmpo still played at a high level. For the fourth consecutive season, he was named an All-Star, and he was the captain of the East team for the second consecutive season. One thing about Antetokounmpo that makes him a great player is his willingness to win. When he steps on the court, he leaves it all out there. You’ll see him diving on the floor for loose balls and doing whatever it takes to put his team in a position to win.
He finished the 2019-20 season, averaging 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds. For the second consecutive season, the Bucks finished with the best record in the league at 56-17. It was a tight race for MVP between Antetokounmpo and LeBron James. But in the end, Antetokounmpo won the MVP award again, and he also was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in his career.
Giannis believes LeBron James is the best player
Even though Antetokounmpo won back-to-back MVP awards, LeBron James is the best player in the league in his eyes. In an article from CBS Sports, it stated that in an interview with Cosmote TV in Greece, Antetokounmpo made it clear who he thinks the best player is.
“It doesn’t matter who is the MVP. He is the best. I say so. He is the best in the world. The day that I would be the best player in the world, I will step forward and say it,” he said. “Guys, seven years ago I was looking up to LeBron. He was like… Like Jordan for everyone else. For me, that was LeBron. And now I am on the same sentence with LeBron.” Antetokounmpo has worked hard ever since he entered the league, and while he’s achieved a lot, he believes James is the best, and he has a lot of respect for him.
Stats Courtesy of Basketball Reference