Shaquille O’Neal gave Giannis Antetokounmpo the ultimate honor via Instagram on Saturday.
The Big Fella shared a graphic on his Instagram account that compared his career stats with Giannis’ through age 26. Antetokounmpo compares quite well with O’Neal.
O’Neal even said in his post that Giannis “is a bad boy call him Superman just call me Shaq.”
Shaq has been extremely protective of his “Superman” nickname throughout his career. He has even put down Dwight Howard over it.
For him to give it to Antetokounmpo shows how much he respects the Milwaukee Bucks star. It probably helps that Giannis isn’t a center, because O’Neal seems to really get protective over fellow big men.
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took the unprecedented step of speaking to the Milwaukee Bucks after they defeated him in the NBA Finals. That came at the invitation of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who explained his reasoning in an interview.
Giannis told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that Williams wanted to talk to the Bucks, but didn’t want to interrupt the celebration. Antetokounmpo said he felt it was the “right thing to do” to give Williams the opportunity.
“I felt like the right thing to do was to take him in the locker room and allow him to talk to the team because he wanted to talk to the team but he didn’t want to stop the celebration,” Antetokounmpo said. “I walked in with him in the locker room, had the people stop the music, stop the champagne. He was able to talk to the team and congratulate us. We congratulated him too and wished him luck, and I told him I feel like there’s a good chance we might run it back next year.”
You can see the video of Williams speaking to Bucks players by clicking here.
It’s an incredibly classy gesture by two people who certainly didn’t have to do what they did. It also demonstrates the obvious mutual respect between the two sides. Williams has clearly won the respect of his players, and it certainly looks like he’s won over opponents as well.
Shaquille O’Neal was certainly happy to see a new NBA champion get crowned who was not named Dwight Howard.
O’Neal took to Instagram this week to praise Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks for winning the title. The retired Hall of Famer said that there was “only one Superman now” and that was Antetokounmpo.
A user in the comments noted how surprising it was to see O’Neal, who is usually very territorial and critical of today’s stars, crown someone else as “Superman,” his longtime nickname. O’Neal replied back, saying of Antetokounmpo, “Yes I did he earned it unlike some people.”
O’Neal’s comment is a very obvious dig at Howard, who essentially gave himself the “Superman” nickname many years ago. The two have had a longstanding beef that resurfaced last year when Howard’s Los Angeles Lakers won the championship. O’Neal clowned Howard for celebrating so hard despite having a minimal role.
As for Antetokounmpo, his 50-point, 14-rebound, five-block performance in the title-clinching win was certainly reminiscent of O’Neal. At least when it comes to him, O’Neal is more than happy to give credit where credit is due.
It’s safe to say Giannis Antetokounmpo shut down his doubters with his dominant NBA Finals performance, and a victory lap is warranted.
Antetokounmpo’s girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger is quite happy to take that victory lap. One of her targets was ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who has repeatedly called Giannis a “Robin” compared to Khris Middleton’s “Batman.” The criticism from Perkins is that Giannis prefers to let Middleton handle closer duties in crunch time.
After Giannis dropped a Batman-like 50 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 6 clincher, Riddlesprigger indicated that she’s been paying attention to the criticism. She shaded Perkins on Twitter by celebrating Giannis’ accomplishment, concluding the tweet with the phrase “carry on,” which is the same phrase Perkins ends many of his opinionated tweets with.
Giannis appeared to be a fan of the approach.
Perkins deserved to get roasted for that take. It was bad even before Giannis dominated the Finals, and his MVP performance just made Perkins look even sillier. It’s no wonder another NBA player has publicly referred to Perkins as a “clown” before with takes like that one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was still living the dream roughly 12 hours after capturing his first NBA championship, and the Milwaukee Bucks star found a great way to celebrate with some fans.
Antetokounmpo took a drive with the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the NBA Finals MVP trophy on Wednesday morning. He was greeted by some fans at the Chick-fil-A drive thru, and one of them asked if he could touch one of the trophies. Antetokounmpo allowed it. He also ordered a 50-piece chicken nugget and asked the Chick-fil-A employees if he can have free food for life.
Giannis was broadcasting on Instagram live at the time, so you can see it all below:
It goes without saying that Giannis is now more of a legend in Milwaukee. He stuck with the Bucks in an era where superstars are constantly forcing trades and joining superteams. You could tell how much the championship meant to him with how emotional he was after Game 6, and Giannis is sharing that with Bucks fans as much as he can.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo was unable to be with the Milwaukee Bucks when they defeated the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, but his brother Giannis made sure Thanasis felt like he was part of the celebration.
After the Bucks defeated the Suns to capture their first NBA title in 50 years, Giannis was seen using FaceTime on his phone almost immediately. There was speculation that he was talking to Thanasis and telling him to come join the team.
Thanasis, who is a reserve player for the Bucks, was unavailable for Game 6 due to COVID-19 protocols. Giannis later went on Instagram live with his brother while Bucks players were celebrating in the locker room.
Another video clip showed Giannis telling Thanasis that he is coming to the hotel to celebrate with him and doesn’t care about health and safety protocols.
It’s a shame that Thanasis had to miss the fun. Although he only played two minutes total in the NBA Finals, every member of the team should get to enjoy the championship and all that comes with it. The fact that Thanasis’ couldn’t celebrate in-person with his brother was that much more heartbreaking.
Giannis Antetokounmpo says that he missed his Milwaukee Bucks’ team photo after they won the championship on Tuesday night. His reason for missing it will give you plenty of insight about his character.
Antetokounmpo said in an interview on NBATV after leading his Bucks to a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns that he missed the team photo because he was already thinking about winning a second championship and not dwelling on the first one.
“I never stopped working. This is how messed up my brain is. Even today, we won the NBA championship. I wasn’t in the team photo,” Antetokounmpo said. “I went in the back, I just had to talk to my brothers a little bit. I was just trying to figure out when you going to come back, when you going to do it again. That’s the mindset I have. That’s who I am. That’s what made me great, what made this team great.”
That’s the same type of mentality the great ones possess. Nick Saban famously returns to recruiting quickly after winning championships with Alabama. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were thinking about the next one after winning their Super Bowls.
Is it any surprise that Giannis already had his eye on the next championship even after winning his first one? He has a mindset that relentlessly pursues excellence. His late mentor would be proud.
An old tweet from Kobe Bryant went viral on Tuesday night after the Milwaukee Bucks won the championship.
Giannis Antetokounmpo made his first All-Star team in 2016-2017, which was his fourth year in the league. Antetokounmpo was on a clear trajectory of improvement, but few saw an MVP in his future at that point. Kobe Bryant did.
That summer, Giannis asked Kobe what his challenge would be. Bryant challenged the Greek Freak to win an NBA MVP Award.
Two seasons later, Antetokounmpo took home his first of two NBA MVP Awards.
After Giannis won his first MVP, Bryant went to the next step. He challenged Giannis to win a championship.
That was in June, 2019. Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash seven months later.
But two years after the challenge, Antetokounmpo came through.
Bryant is no longer around to issue a new challenge that pushes Antetokounmpo. But maybe he would tell Giannis to go for a second championship. And at the rate Giannis is going, he will accomplish that feat in two years.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was extremely emotional upon winning the NBA championship on Tuesday night.
Giannis had a performance for the ages, scoring 50 points with 14 rebounds and five blocks in his Milwaukee Bucks’ 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6.
The 26-year-old Greek Freak is in his eighth season in Milwaukee. He had won two NBA MVP Awards but flamed out in the playoffs. He faced criticism for not getting it done in the postseason. He faced questions about whether he would leave Milwaukee for a big-market team.
But Antetokounmpo stuck with the Bucks, kept his eye on the big goal, and finally achieved it. That’s what resulted in all the emotions coming out:
That was beautiful to see.
Antetokounmpo staying in Milwaukee and winning a title with the Bucks is a big victory for the NBA and small-market teams, showing you can build through the draft and win it all.
The NBA is notorious for not calling minor infractions, especially against superstars. That’s why it was so surprising to see the officials in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday call Giannis Antetokounmpo for traveling.
The Milwaukee Bucks were taking the ball out against the Phoenix Suns following a Cameron Payne 3-pointer to make it 29-21. Antetokounmpo let the ball roll up the court before picking it up. He then easily took 2-3 steps before dribbling.
Yes, that’s usually something the officials would let go. But they actually called it this time.
Nothing was worse than when LeBron got away with this travel two years ago. What’s also surprising was seeing Scott Foster’s crew call something that favored Chris Paul’s team.