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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Articles tagged: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Was Giannis Antetokounmpo on FaceTime with brother Thanasis after title?

Giannis Antetokounmpo FaceTime

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 shares why he missed team championship photo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

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.

Old Kobe Bryant tweet goes viral after Giannis wins championship

Kobe Bryant

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.

Video: Giannis Antetokounmpo gets emotional after winning championship

Giannis Antetokounmpo emotional

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.

Video: Giannis Antetokounmpo shockingly got called for traveling on this play

Giannis Antetokounmpo

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.

Spencer Dinwiddie gets roasted for bad tweet about Giannis Antetokounmpo

Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie posted a tweet this weekend that may have earned him a spot on “Shaqtin’ A Fool.”

The Brooklyn Nets guard posed a hypothetical to fans on Saturday in which Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo would be out for Game 6 of the NBA Finals due to health and safety protocols. Dinwiddie asked if Khris Middleton would win Finals MVP if the Bucks managed to get the victory.

The tweet was very poorly received, especially given that Antetokounmpo’s brother Thanasis missed Game 5, having actually entered health and safety protocols. Fans promptly roasted Dinwiddie for the post.

After getting backlash, Dinwiddie tried to backtrack by saying to not take his tweet so seriously.

In any case, making any kind of suggestion that Antetokounmpo could potentially suffer misfortune while on the verge of winning an NBA title is a pretty bad look on Dinwiddie’s part. There does not appear to be any direct history between the two players. But Antetokounmpo did have an issue with one of Dinwiddie’s Nets teammates before.

Chris Paul throws shade at Giannis Antetokounmpo over free throws

Chris Paul Suns

The Phoenix Suns fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Saturday, with a key moment coming when the Suns couldn’t rebound off a Giannis Antetokounmpo missed free throw late in the fourth quarter. That moment frustrated Chris Paul, who took a shot at Antetokounmpo’s free throw shooting in the process.

With 13.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Antetokounmpo missed a free throw that would have put the Bucks up by four. However, he missed so badly that he was able to get his own offensive rebound, which led to a Khris Middleton made free throw that essentially iced the game.

Paul was critical of his team for failing to grab the rebound, and he used that criticism to jab at Antetokounmpo, too.

Giannis went 4-for-11 from the line in Game 5. It’s been an issue for him all playoffs, especially on the road, where fans have taken to taunting him over his perceived skirting of the ten second clock.

The fact is, Giannis sometimes misses so badly that it can be unpredictable where the rebound is actually going to go. That factor victimized the Suns on Saturday, so it’s no wonder Paul is frustrated.

Video: Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo combine for game-sealing play

Giannis Antetokounmpo alley oop

Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined for a game-sealing play to win Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Saturday night in Phoenix, Ariz.

The Milwaukee Bucks were leading 120-119 with under 20 seconds left in the game. Devin Booker had the ball for the Suns and drove to the basket. He got tied up and was stripped of the ball by Holiday. Not only did Holiday get the steal, but he dribbled down the court and then threw a perfect pass to Giannis for an alley-oop:

What a play by both of them.

Antetokounmpo was fouled by Chris Paul on the alley-oop and attempted a free throw but missed. Milwaukee got an offensive rebound and was fouled again. Khris Middleton went 1-for-2 at the line, giving the Bucks a 123-119 lead, which was the final.

Milwaukee is now up 3-2 in the series. This was the second time in a row that the Bucks sealed a win with a great defensive play at the end.

Video: Devin Booker stared down Giannis Antetokounmpo after dunk that did not count

Devin Booker staredown Giannis

Devin Booker gave Giannis Antetokounmpo a big staredown after dunking on him during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Saturday. Unfortunately for Booker, his dunk didn’t actually count.

The Phoenix Suns were leading the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the first quarter of Game 5. Khris Middleton had the ball stolen from him by Mikal Bridges, who passed ahead to Booker. A whistle was blown to indicate a foul call, but Booker went up for a dunk attempt anyway. Antetokounmpo’s foul still did not prevent the dunk.

Booker did not appreciate the foul and stared down Antetokounmpo afterwards as a flex move.

The officials reviewed the play and determined PJ Tucker fouled Bridges before the pass. Nothing was assessed to Antetokounmpo.

What was wild was how loud the atmosphere was. Neither Booker nor Antetokounmpo seemed to hear the whistle and both went hard on the play.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had cool comment about his amazing block

Giannis Antetokounmpo block Deandre Ayton

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s block on Deandre Ayton in Game 4 of the NBA Finals is the sort of play that will become legendary if the Milwaukee Bucks end up winning the series. You might expect Giannis to revel in that moment, but if you did, you’d be incorrect.

On Friday, Antetokounmpo admitted he’d only seen video of his block for the first time in a team film session. The Bucks star also gave an awesome explanation as to why he hadn’t seen it sooner.

Even with that level of modesty, it’s kind of surprising Giannis didn’t see the play any sooner. It was, after all, one of the biggest and most memorable of the game.

Still, it’s an attitude that should serve Giannis well. It’s driven him to consistently improve despite already being one of the best players in the world. Plus, the guy’s got a sense of humor, too. It’s easy to see why the Bucks love him so much — beyond his talent, of course.