Posts Tagged ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo’

Say what you will about Milwaukee, but Giannis Antetokounmpo loves it.

The Bucks phenom has rapidly developed into a superstar, and this young season has made a better case than anyone that he’s the league MVP.

Antetokounmpo, 22, believes his adopted city suits his personality, and is probably conducive to his on-court success.

“I’m a low-profile guy,” he told The New York Times’ Marc Stein. “I don’t like all these flashy cities like L.A. or Miami. I don’t know if I could be the same player if I played in those cities.”

That figures to be music to the ears of Bucks nation, as Milwaukee is one of the NBA’s smaller markets and, as such, tends to have a tougher time luring and keeping stars. There was offseason speculation that teams were plotting to poach Antetokounmpo, who responded with this tweet:

The Greek Freak has already shown loyalty to the club that drafted him 15th overall in 2013, giving the Bucks a discount on a four-year, $100-million contract extension last year to keep him in Wisconsin through 2021.

He said he “can take this organization to the next level and bring that championship.” While Milwaukee isn’t a title contender given its roster holes – including a lack of shooting and speed – Antetokounmpo is doing his part, and more.

Following a breakout campaign that saw him earn his first All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive nods, the versatile 7-footer is putting up a league-leading 31.3 points on 60 percent shooting to go along with 10.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game for the 4-4 Bucks.

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Charles Antetokounmpo, the father of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, has died, Bucks general manager Jon Horst announced Saturday.

The Bucks family is heartbroken about the sudden death of Giannis’ father, Charles. The entire organization, his teammates and coaches are here to support Giannis and his family during this incredibly difficult time. Charles was a big part of the Bucks and will be terribly missed by us all. On behalf of ownership, we express our utmost condolences and offer our prayers to Giannis and his family.

Charles, who was 54 years old, is also the father of EuroLeague player Thanasis, Dayton Flyers freshman Kostas, and high school prospect Alexis. He reportedly suffered a heart attack at home Friday in Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Rick Barrett.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo may have “loyalty inside his DNA,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the 22-year-old phenom will remain in Milwaukee for the entirety of his career.

The Bucks forward was non-committal when asked about his future in Milwaukee, saying that many players have expressed their desire to stay in a particular city before bolting for greener pastures.

“A lot of people say they’re going to stay on a team and decide to move to a different team,” Giannis said at a recent event in Manila, Philippines. “But you guys got to remember: A guy might want to stay on a team, but the team doesn’t do the right things and the right moves for the player to become great.”

The 2017 All-Star added that Kevin Durant gave every indication that he planned to stay with the Thunder, but ultimately left Oklahoma City after the team failed to win a title.

“KD, the reason he wanted to stay in OKC was to win, right? So, they didn’t win the championship,” Giannis said. “That’s why he decided to leave. So do not hate only the player, because sometimes it’s not up to the player.”

While Giannis’ comments may be a little unsettling for Bucks fans, the 6-foot-11 forward still has four years remaining on his contract, and he won’t become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2021.

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Joel Embiid fancies himself a floor general.

The 7-foot rookie currently plays center for the Philadelphia 76ers, but he hopes to be manning a different position when it’s all said and done.

“By the end of my career I want to be a point guard,” he told reporters after Tuesday’s 93-91 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, as quoted by Liberty Ballers’ Kyle Neubeck.

Point guards are traditionally smaller guys, but as the league trends toward position-less basketball, we’re seeing more big playmakers – think 6-foot-11 Milwaukee Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo – and undersized bigs like Utah Jazz power forward Boris Diaw, who began his career as a shooting guard.

Embiid has started at center in all 23 of his contests this campaign and played every single minute at the five-spot. He’s dominating as a young up-and-coming frontcourt player with some playmaking skills to boot; he’s shown he can draw in defenders and pass out to teammates who are in optimal position to score.

“The Process” is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year, averaging 19.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 1.9 assists in 25 minutes a night. Fellow big man DeMarcus Cousins said last week that Embiid has a chance to be the best center in the NBA … after he retires. Never short on confidence, Embiid responded saying he doesn’t think he’ll have to wait that long.

The 22-year-old figures to have plenty of time to excel in all positions if he wants to. Coming off multiple foot surgeries that delayed his NBA debut for two years, Embiid declared in the preseason he plans to play at least 20 years in the league.

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Jason Kidd’s voice carries a bit more weight than the run-of-the-mill head coach – at least if you know his resume.

In an illuminating profile with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo recounted how looking up Kidd’s career accomplishments changed his mind after early doubts about his coach.

As Jenkins wrote:

The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. “I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,'” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.'”

For the record, Kidd’s resume reads as follows: 10 All-Star nods, Rookie of the Year honors (shared with Grant Hill) in 1995, nine All-Defense nominations, six All-NBA selections, two Olympic goal medals, and one championship, after which his No. 5 was retired by the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

If that doesn’t command respect, nothing will.