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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Articles tagged: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo eligible to sign largest contract in NBA history

Giannis Antetokounmpo

One of the biggest winners of the All-NBA teams being released on Thursday was Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Greek Freak was named first-team All-NBA, making it three seasons in a row that he has been named to one of the All-NBA teams (he was named second team in the previous two seasons). One of the stipulations of the Designated Veteran Player Extension aka “supermax” contract is that if a qualified player makes one of the All-NBA teams in the most recent season or previous two seasons before being eligible to sign the contract, he would be able to sign for 35 percent of the salary cap.

Antetokounmpo currently has six years of service. After next season, he would have seven years of service and one year left on his current contract, which would make him a qualified player for a five-year max contract extension. Having made the All-NBA team last year and this year means he’s automatically qualified for a supermax contract even if he does not make an All-NBA team next season. If he signs the supermax, such a deal would give him the largest contract in NBA history.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks did the math on it and shares the projected financial figures — it would be a five-year contract worth around $247.3 million.

Giannis has developed into an MVP candidate and one of the best players in the league. His work ethic is also incredible. Though he would be costly, he would be deserving of the contract, and Milwaukee would probably be only too happy to sign him longterm.

Drake was laughing so hard when Giannis Antetokounmp missed a free throw

Drake Doris Burke shirt

Drake was trolling the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals in Toronto on Tuesday night like he was an annoying mascot.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo went to the free throw line midway through the third quarter and went 1-for-2 on his trip. He missed the first free throw, which led to an eruption from the rapper, who is a Raptors ambassador:

After all that laughing and zinging from Drake, Antetokounmpo went on to make the next free throw, so the MVP candidate clearly was not affected.

The Raptors were giving Drake plenty of reasons to celebrate and be giddy. They held a double-digit lead during the third quarter as they looked to tie the series at 2-2.

Look: Drake trolls Giannis Antetokounmpo for fouling out of Game 3

Drake Raptors

Drake took advantage of an opportunity to troll Giannis Antetokounmpo at the end of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night.

Antetokounmpo fouled out early in the second overtime between his Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors. Drake, who was in his usual courtside seat, waved the Greek Freak goodbye:

Antetokounmpo did not play his best in the game. Though he picked up 23 rebounds and blocked four shots, Giannis shot just 5-for-16 and committed eight turnovers.

Drake, a Toronto native and ambassador for the Raptors, was only too happy to get in on the fun. He rarely shies away from opportunities to mix things up with opponents, just like he did against Joel Embiid in the previous series.

Did Giannis Antetokounmpo travel on this basket against Raptors?

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo got the benefit from the referees on a basket during the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday that had everyone debating whether he traveled.

The Milwaukee Bucks star streaked down the court and darted around the Toronto Raptors defense for a bucket in the paint. He did so despite only taking one dribble after crossing halfcourt, liberally making use of the Euro step.

The Raptors bench and players in the game all thought a travel should have been called, but nothing was. The TNT crew even debated at halftime whether traveling should have been called.

Giannis covered so much ground using just one dribble that one has to wonder how that could have been legal. Watching it at full speed though, he only appears to take two steps, which is probably why the refs let it go.

Plays like that are exactly why they call him the “Greek Freak.” He does things only a physical freak could do on the court.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George finalists for two big NBA awards

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George are viewed as two of the top players in the NBA, and this year’s awards seem to show that in a big way.

The NBA on Friday announced the finalists for each of the awards that will be handed out during their awards show on June 24. Antetokounmpo and George were both listed as finalists for NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. James Harden is the other finalist for MVP and Utah’s Rudy Gobert is in the mix for Defensive Player of the Year.

The NBA MVP race had long been viewed as a two-way competition between Harden and Antetokounmpo. Giannis averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 57.8 percent shooting, all of which were career-best marks. His Milwaukee Bucks had the best record during the regular season at 60-22.

Harden averaged a league-best 36.1 points per game and helped carry the Houston Rockets to the 5th-best record in the league. His points scoring average is the 7th-highest in NBA history.

George averaged 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game, all of which tied or set a career-high mark. His candidacy took a big boost when he blew up in February and averaged 35 points per game that month. Things changed after he suffered a shoulder injury on Feb. 26 that sank his stats (his points dropped off and shooting went down by nearly four percent) and played a big role in Oklahoma City’s early playoff exit.

Harden won NBA MVP last season, while Antetokounmpo finished sixth in voting. George’s best MVP finish came in 2013-2014 when he finished ninth. Gobert is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo admits East playoffs have been easier without LeBron

Giannis Antetokounmpo

LeBron James did every team in the Eastern Conference a favor last summer when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, but players are often hesitant to admit when their competition is not as difficult as it could be. To his credit, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a realist.

The Boston Celtics were considered the favorites in the East once LeBron left, but Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks took care of them in five games. They’re now three wins away from reaching the NBA Finals, and Giannis admitted on Thursday that LeBron no longer being in the picture has made things easier.

“I didn’t see (the East) as open (after LeBron left),” Antetokounmpo said Thursday, via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “But now that I look back and see how everything went, it’s definitely open, not having LeBron in the East and not trying to go through him.”

The Bucks have beaten the Detroit Pistons and Celtics, and they now have a 1-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors. While Kawhi Leonard is playing some of the best basketball of his life, he still isn’t LeBron. There’s a reason James went to the Finals eight years in a row, and Giannis and his teammates know that.

“Any time you don’t have to go through LeBron James is going to help your odds,” Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said.

In some ways it’s a shame that LeBron left the East, because seeing him go head-to-head with Giannis would have been a treat for NBA fans.

Funny Giannis Antetokounmpo video not as disrespectful as it seems

Giannis Antetokounmpo

A funny video of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s response to a question about Marcus Smart after Game 4 has gone viral, though it’s not nearly as disrespectful as it’s made out to be.

Antetokounmpo was asked after his Milwaukee Bucks’ 113-101 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinals for his thoughts on Marcus Smart’s impact on the game. Giannis seemed a little thrown off by the question and took some time to search for Smart’s stats:

The video clip made it seem like his answer was crickets because Smart had no impact (Smart was playing his first game since returning from an oblique injury and went just 1/7 in 15 minutes). People took it as a sign of disrespect and thought it was hilarious.

The truth is the clip doesn’t tell the whole story.

The full video shows Antetokounmpo actually talked Smart up and called him a “great player.”

The way content is edited makes a huge difference.

The series now returns to Milwaukee for Game 5 on Wednesday with the Bucks looking to close things out. Don’t tell that to Paul Pierce.