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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

Another retired NBA star disses Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo warms up

Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t get any respect from the old heads these days.

Retired former NBA All-Star Charles Oakley made a recent appearance on SLAM’s “No Pump Fakes” podcast and gave a searing hot take about the Milwaukee Bucks star Antetokounmpo.

“He wouldn’t have been a force back in the day,” said Oakley. “He would have struggled because they would make him shoot jump shots. He wasn’t gonna be doing those Eurosteps to the basket like he be doing, Eurostep to the basket and just get a layup. No, somebody’s gonna knock his head off.

“I’m glad he doing what he doing now,” Oakley added. “But he may be coming off the bench back in the day.”

Oakley’s comments are similar to what another retired NBA star said about Antetokounmpo in a different podcast appearance earlier this month. But the take didn’t make sense then, and it still doesn’t make sense now.

Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP and reigning Finals MVP who can post up, handle the ball, and jump straight out of the gym, all while being 6-foot-11. It is inaccurate to suggest that Antetokounmpo is only successful because he drives to the rim. He may have actually had an easier time dominating in Oakley’s era too since there were illegal defense rules that prevented teams from playing zone and forced defenders to match up one-on-one (though by the same token, opposing defenders also would have been able to hand-check Antetokounmpo during that era).

Antetokounmpo detractors, including some of his NBA rivals, used to wield the argument that The Greek Freak was simply long, tall, and unskilled. But that take is now antiquated after Antetokounmpo won back-to-back MVPs and an NBA championship. Leave it to Oakley to remain antiquated though.

Photo: Oct 23, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

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