Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the NBA, alreadying clinching a championship for the Milwaukee Bucks once. The 27-year-old has played well in many other seasons though, which is why he’s been an NBA All-Star for six years in a row. Here’s a look at Antetokounmpo’s five greatest seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a lot of doubters early on
Antetokounmpo was drafted as the 15th overall pick in 2013. It took him some time to develop into the player he is today. His stats, according to Basketball Reference, reflect that. He averaged 6.8 points per game in his rookie season, but he kept working on himself and improving. The Greek-Nigerian athlete averaged 12.7 points per game in the 2015 season, 16.9 points per game in the 2016 season, and 22.9 points per game in the 2017 season.
The improvement in his play also meant an improvement in the Bucks’ overall standing. It didn’t take him long before Antetokounmpo became a superstar in his own right. As a result, the Bucks have become one of the strongest teams in the NBA. The franchise has consistently made the playoffs since. Here’s a look at five of the Greek Freak’s greatest seasons.
2017 season: first All-Star year
While Antetokounmpo’s first playoff appearance was in the 2015 season, the 2017 season was when it became clear to fans that he was a star. The Bucks relied on Antetokounmpo during the playoffs, as he averaged about 40.5 minutes per game — still his career-high.
The Greek Freak also did well during the regular season, and it’s why was picked as an All-Star. That said, the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
Fresh off of winning a ring during the 2021 season, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were the team to beat. The power forward continued to play well, averaging 29.9 points per game, a career high.
Antetokounmpo’s stats got even better during the playoffs. He had a career high of 31.7 points per playoff game, and his rebounds and assists were also career highs. However, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks lost a close series to the Boston Celtics, who lost to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
2020 season: top seed and MVP
This was a weird year for sports, but Antetokounmpo and the Bucks still did well. The Greek Freak led his team to get the best record in the league at 56-17, which gave the Bucks the top seed in the playoffs. His stats were also strong, averaging 29.5 points in the regular season. As such, he won the MVP award. However, he suffered an injury in the playoffs, allowing the Miami Heat to beat the Bucks 4-1.
2019 season: Eastern Conference semifinalist and MVP
The 2019 season is one of his greatest seasons so far, reflected by the fact that he won his first MVP award during this season. The Bucks were the top seed, as the team had a regular season record of 60-22.
Antetokounmpo continued to play well in the playoffs, leading his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the Toronto Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard, beat the Bucks and then won the championship against the Warriors.
2021 season: NBA champion
Antetokounmpo only played 61 games for the Bucks this season — the least games he’s played in a season. He also suffered an injury during the playoffs, but that didn’t stop him from leading the Bucks to winning a ring. This was the Bucks’ first championship since 1971, and he earned him the Finals MVP award.