There is no doubt that Giannis Antetokounmpo has grown in to one the NBA’s elites. Voted as a starter on the East All-Stars in his first appearance in the All-Star game, as well as the leagues ‘Most Improved Player’ last season, it’s crystal clear that both players and fans realize the ability of the ‘Greek Freak’.
The 22 year old is coming off the back of his fourth season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and had career highs across the board. Giannis became the first player in NBA history to finish in the Top 25 in the league for points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks in the same season!
He guided Milwaukee back to the playoffs, where they took the Raptors to seven games before being defeated at the Air Canada Center
Despite the early Playoff exit, the future looks incredibly exciting for the Bucks, who may have made the draft pick of the century back in 2013, drafting the unknown Giannis out of Greece with the 15th pick.
Since then, the 6 foot 11 forward has taken great leaps forward and become one of the leagues most dominant players. Many writers believe he is unguardable, and is the heir to Lebron’s throne in the Eastern Conference.
It is widely accepted that NBA players reach their prime aged around 27. Giannis still has 5 more years before he even reaches his so called ‘prime’. Coming off a 23 point, 5 assists, and 8 rebound season, it’s hard to imagine just how could Giannis could be when his prime does come around.
Giannis tweeted Kobe Bryant last week requesting his ‘challenge’. Kobe’s response? “MVP”.
But could Giannis Antetokounmpo be the MVP of the league this season? There is no doubt Giannis will win the MVP award at least once in his career, and will undoubtedly be an All-Star for many years to come. There are many candidates for MVP, but Giannis’ individual stats will continue to rise, and so will the Bucks’ seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Antetokounmpo ruled himself out of this summers ‘Eurobasket’ tournament where he was set to represent Greece alongside his brother, Thanasis. A recurring knee injury has ruled him out however. Although this is not expected to effect his preparation too much heading in to his fifth NBA season, a deep tournament run may have been exactly what he needed ahead of a potentially BIG season.
With a weakened Eastern Conference, the Bucks have a great opportunity to make a surge for the top 4 seeds. If they get there, Giannis may well be in contention for the leagues most prestigious individual award.