Giannis Antetokounmpo Is Still Remarkably ‘Changing the Narrative’ While Making Milwaukee Bucks History

Giannis Antetokounmpo is in his ninth NBA season. And even with two MVPs under his belt, 2021-22 has been the best offensive year of his career.

It’s fitting then, that it’s the season in which he breaks the Milwaukee Bucks‘ all-time scoring record previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

It’s even more fitting — maybe they could add it to his Disney movie (they’re really making one) — that he did it with a stepback three.

It’s literal, visual proof that even with all he’s accomplished, Antetokounmpo refuses to stop getting better.

Giannis Antetokounmpo broke the Milwaukee Bucks’ all-time scoring record in a crucial win over the Nets

Antetokounmpo’s record-breaking shot may have been a stepback three. But it certainly wasn’t his only highlight of the night.

Giannis finished with 44 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in a win over the Brooklyn Nets that moved the Bucks to within a half-game of the Miami Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference standings.

He did it on 14-of-21 shooting and, more importantly, 15-of-19 from the free-throw line.

Antetokounmpo hit the record-breaking three with 18.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 110. The contest eventually went to overtime.

He missed four straight free throws in the extra period (his only misses) but, in another fitting twist, went 2-of-2 from the line with three seconds left in OT to give Milwaukee a 119-118 win.

“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the iconic players in our league,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said via The Athletic.

“So for Giannis to pass him as organizationally our all-time, career leading scorer and to have a front-row seat for the last three, almost four years. I just feel incredibly fortunate.”

The shot that gave him the record and the way he won the game — on the free-throw line — is only proof of the kind of player and person Antetokounmpo has tirelessly worked to become.

Breaking the record with a stepback three is further evidence that Giannis is “changing the narrative”

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to improve and now the Milwaukee Bucks' star has put up enough stats to hold the franchise record for most points scored.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a three-point shot during the first half of a game against the Atlanta Hawks. | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Antetokounmpo is in the midst of the best offensive season of his career.

Last night’s game — which came after a 40-point performance in another critical win over Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers — tied him with LeBron James for the league lead in scoring.

Giannis has expanded his game further and further away from the basket each of the last three seasons.

So, of course, the record would come on a shot no one — except maybe Antetokounmpo — would expect him to have in his arsenal at any point in his career.

“It’s good because I’m changing the narrative,” Giannis said via The Athletic. “I don’t want to be the guy that dunks and runs. I can make a (three).”

It was also The Greek Freak’s first career tying or go-ahead three-pointer in the final 30 seconds of a fourth-quarter or overtime, per ESPN.

And he won Milwaukee the game by going 2-for-2 from the free-throw line, where his struggles during last year’s postseason were well-documented.

(He’s shooting 72.3% from the stripe on a career-high 11.6 attempts per game this year, which is criminally flying under the radar.)

“That’s definitely the MVP,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said per ESPN. “That’s definitely Most Improved Player, which I’m not even sure he can get that at this point.

“He’s improved his game a lot, and it’s shown — from the free-throw line, to his fadeaway, to his (three-point) shot. From last year to this year, it’s so much better.”

At age 27, with a careers-worth of accolades under his belt, his game is getting “so much better.”

Still, the Bucks’ MVP remains one of the most NBA’s most humble superstars

Giannis broke the franchise’s all-time scoring record. On a stepback three. In a win that he sealed with two free throws.

That speaks to Antetokoumpo’s mentality — he has no fear of missing a difficult shot in a critical moment. He airballed free throws, in the playoffs, with opposing crowds screaming and counting how long it took him to shoot.

And then he got fouled and went right back to the line.

“I’m over myself. I’m able to get to my spot better and execute, and if the ball doesn’t go in, I’m OK with it,” he said via ESPN.

“I love what I’ve done in the past, and that gives me confidence, and I’m able to go out there and execute without thinking, without having self-doubts about myself or think I’m not good enough.”

But after his record-breaking performance and Milwaukee’s win over Brooklyn, he was far more concerned with other things.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Antetokounmpo said of his latest achievement. “Because at the end of the day, if you don’t have a successful season, if you don’t try and keep getting better and staying humble and staying happy, play all the way until May, June, nobody’s going to remember this.”

Personal achievements are nice. But for Giannis, breaking his franchise’s all-time scoring record — one held by the player who also holds the NBA’s all-time scoring record — doesn’t matter if you don’t win.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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