Giannis Antetokounmpo has stamped his name as one of the Milwaukee Bucks‘ all-time greatest players. His record-breaking performance at the 2021 NBA Finals has shown how great a player he is.
The Milwaukee Bucks squared up against the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals, a matchup where all players were finals debutants. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks past the Chris Paul-led Suns despite losing their first two games of the series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s showcase could arguably be the best single-game performance in NBA Finals history as he averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals.
The NBA is home to exceptional talents. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo has consistently shown that he can dominate. His exploits are nothing short of extraordinary as he is in a league not many can reach.
What are the most notable successes and failures in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s career?
Giannis Antetokounmpo played semi-pro basketball for two years in Greece before entering the 2013 NBA draft. He was selected 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks and has since plied his trade with the franchise.
Winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award is always a good sign that a player could develop in the league. Most of the greatest players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James both won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo lost the award to Michael Carter-Williams as he averaged 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 blocks in his rookie year.
Not letting that deter him, Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to develop as clear signs of improvement were seen in his game. Although he could be referred to as a late bloomer, his rise to stardom is noteworthy.
Giannis’ rise to fame came after four years with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was selected for the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the first time in 2017 and has since then continued to make appearances till date. His exemplary display during the 2016-2017 season earned him the 2017 NBA Most Improved Player.
Having a player that can produce on both ends of the court is a rarity, and the Bucks have that in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since making the All-NBA Second Team in 2017 and 2018, he has been a regular in the All-NBA First Team since 2019 till date.
Furthermore, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s efforts on defense have not gone unnoticed as he has made the NBA All-Defensive First team for three consecutive years since 2019. In 2020, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Kia NBA MVP award in 2019 and 2020, losing the award to Nikola Jokic in 2021. Regardless, he was the All-Star game MVP and won the 2021 NBA Finals MVP award after leading the Bucks to their first NBA championship in 50 years.
Sighting a failure in Antetokounmpo’s career is difficult, seeing how he has dominated the NBA since his breakout season. Although one could argue that his early years were average, he has acclimatized himself with the NBA in recent years and has taken the league by storm.