Today we’re going to talk about possibly the future G.O.A.T in the NBA. Can he be the greatest player to ever do it? We will take a look at the life and career of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Today’s topic is “How Good Giannis?”
Giannis was born on December 6th, 1994 in Athens, Greece. His parents were immigrants from Nigeria and moved to Greece before he was born. Giannis has four brothers and they all helped earn money for their family by selling trinkets on the streets. Since his parents were immigrants it was tough for them to find work. Living in poverty and struggling to live, Giannis didn’t start playing basketball until 2008, and started competing for the club team, Filathlitikos, by 2009.
Start of Professional Career:
Giannis played with the senior men’s team of Filathlitikos in the Third division in 2011. The following season in 2012-2013, he moved up to playing in the second division, but in december of 2012 he signed a four-year deal with Spanish Club CAI Zaragoza. At this time he just turned 18 years old. He decided to finish this season in Greece and then moved on after the 2012-2013 season. He was averaging 9.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 46.4% from the field and 31.3% from the three point line. At the end of the season, he played in the 2013 Greece League All-Star Game.
Giannis declared himself for the 2013 NBA Draft and was selected 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. He made his NBA debut only being 18 years old and was one of the youngest NBA players ever!
His rookie season, he averaged 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks. He was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge at the All-Star Weekend, and he was also selected to the NBA All-Rookie second team.
Giannis made some major improvements in the offseason and going into his second season, he recorded his first career high and double double of 27 points and 15 rebounds. He competed in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2015 as well. He helped the Bucks make the playoffs, but they were defeated in the first round. This season he averaged 12.7 points, and 6.7 rebounds.
Going into the 2015-2016 season, Giannis continued to perfect his craft. He topped his career high and scored 33 points, and almost recorded a triple double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, but only a few months later he finally recorded his first. He became the youngest Buck to record a triple double at only 21 years old. He recorded five triple doubles for the season, but the Bucks weren’t playoff contenders this year.
Going into the 2016-2017 season, Giannis signed a four-year $100 million contract extension with the Bucks. Luckily for the Bucks, this was the year Giannis broke out and finally made a name for himself. He was bigger, physically, and much more dominant as a player in every position. He was named an starter on the East in the 2017 All-Star game, and became the youngest player in franchise history to start in an All-Star game as well. He was also the first Greek NBA All-Star. Giannis became the fifth NBA player to lead his team in the five major stat categories this season. He earned All-NBA Second Team honors and received the Most Improved Player Award, becoming the first Buck to do this. The Bucks made it to the playoffs this season, but couldn’t escape the first round, once again.
Giannis went into the 2017-2018 season with a chip on his shoulder. He scored 175 points in the first five games and scored a career high 34 points and earned a double-double with 12 rebounds against the Wizards. For a second time, he was named a starter for the 2018 All-Star game, breaking another record becoming the first buck since 1980 to start in two consecutive All-Star games. However, the Bucks lost in the first round of the playoffs, for a third time.
Giannis continued to work hard, and sooner or later his hard work started to pay off. Going into the 2018-2019 season, Giannis recorded a career high 52 points and 16 rebounds. The Bucks clinched the number one seed spot in the eastern conference. They finally advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They won the second round, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, but were defeated by the Raptors. Giannis received his first MVP award and became the third-youngest player to win the award.
Going into the 2019-2020 season, Giannis continued to improve his skills and recorded a triple-double in the season opener game. Before the All-Star break, the Bucks had the best record in the NBA with 25 wins and 4 losses. One again, he was chosen to be an All-Star, and also a captain alongside Lebron James, for a second year. As the NBA Bubble took place in July, Giannis stayed on top of his game during those months off and the Bucks advanced to the second round of playoffs. They ended up losing 4-1 to the Heat, who ended up facing the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Giannis finished the 2019-2020 season as the MVP, winning it for the second year in a row, and Defensive Player of the Year. He’s one of three players to win both of these awards in the same season.
So besides the NBA, Giannis competed for the first time in the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in 2013. In 2014, he won the FIBA Basketball World Cup with the Greek National Team. He currently continues to play for Greece representing his country.
The 6 foot 11, 242 pound forward has proved that he’s prone for greatness. He’s a very dangerous player who can play at every position and even handle the ball. He’s one of the best all-around players in the NBA offensively and defensively an elite defensive player and shot blocker. The “Greek Freak” is definitely someone to keep an eye out for because he’s the future of the NBA. He’s only 25 years old, but just getting started.