Skip to main content

What’s in a name? Well, Giannis Antetokounmpo is called the Greek Freak for a reason. Not only is the Milwaukee Bucks star a large man, but he’s athletically gifted and can move like someone half his size. That rare combination of size and explosiveness has allowed him to dominate defenders inside and out; it’s no surprise that he has two NBA MVP crowns and one championship to his name.

But have you ever wondered just how tall Giannis actually is?

Let’s break things down and compare his stature to some other elite talents.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is officially listed at 6-foot-11

The Milwaukee Bucks’ roster has Giannis Antetokounmpo listed at 6 feet, 11 inches. While that’s more than respectable by NBA standards, things were a bit different when the Greek phenom arrived in North America.

As explained in an ESPN piece about the big man’s body, former Bucks general manager John Hammond said the team measured Antetokounmpo at 6 feet, 8.5 inches when he was drafted in 2013. Milwaukee’s strength and conditioning coach then told Hammond toward the middle of Antetokounmpo’s rookie season that Giannis was “still growing,” however, and that assessment proved to be correct.

By the end of the year, he shot up to 6-11. His game eventually matured alongside his body, and the rest is history.

Add a 7-foot-3-inch wingspan, 242-pound frame, and unprecedented athleticism into the mix, and it’s easy to see why Giannis is known as the Greek Freak.

How does Antetokounmpo’s height compare to other NBA MVPs?

So, since Giannis Antetokounmpo has become such a dominant force, how does his size compare to other NBA stars?

Take a look at all of the league MVPs since 2010.

LeBron James*2010, 2012, 20136-9250
Derrick Rose20116-2200
Kevin Durant20146-10240
Stephen Curry2015, 20166-2185
Russell Westbrook20176-3200
James Harden20186-5220
Giannis Antetokounmpo2019, 20206-11242
Nikola Jokic2021, 20226-11284
Joel Embiid20237-0280
*Also won it in 2009

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic are closest to Antetokounmpo’s size, but they are all much different players.

While they are stronger along the perimeter, neither James nor Durant is as dominant in the paint, and they don’t rebound as effectively. Jokic, on the other hand, doesn’t have Antetokounmpo’s quickness and agility, and he doesn’t handle the ball as well. That’s not to say he’s any less effective, though, as the big Serbian’s NBA championship ring confirms.

So what conclusion can we draw from those realities?

At the risk of trotting out a cliche — and you can pick your preferred variation when it comes to phrasing — there’s more to an athlete than physical stature. While it can help to (literally) stand head and shoulders above the competition, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Three-point specialists like Steph Curry can be as effective as someone like Giannis, who can look like he stepped off the pages of a comic book.

That’s especially true given the NBA’s drift toward a positionless game. When you’ve got big men leaving the paint and floating on the perimeter, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. There, skill matters more than size; if you can knock down a shot, play lock-down defense, or run the offense, that’s the important thing.

Who knows, maybe we’ll look at Giannis Antetokounmpo and his 6-11 frame as a part of that evolution (who can forget the “Point-Giannis” era?). If nothing else, though, he’ll go down in NBA history as a truly special talent.


Andre Iguodala Claims That Rasheed Wallace Would Be Better Than Giannis Antetokounmpo in Today’s NBA