Is ‘The Greek Freak’ Already the Best Player in the NBA?

Kevin Durant says Giannis Antetokounmpo could be greatest basketball player ever.

Antetokounmpo. Aa-te-de-koon-poe. Antetokounmpo. Practice it. Memorize it. Know it. 

In the NBA’s 2017-2018 season, you may be able to get away with referring to Buck’s forward Giannis Antetokounmpo as the “Greek Freak,” but that won’t last. Antetokounmpo is on his way to becoming the best, most exciting player in the NBA. Once he’s there, we’ll all need to be able to say his name. 

Truth is, we might get there sooner than anyone thinks. At just 22, the 6’10” native of Athens has already emerged as a top 10 NBA talent and all the skills that make him so were on display in the Buck’s season opener on Wednesday. 

Antetokounmpo was driving. He was dishing. He was bringing the ball up court and distributing. He hit turn arounds, put defenders in the blender in the post and finished with authority.

None of this is a surprise to those who have been paying attention, but Antetokounmpo is sneaking up on the casual NBA fan. Blame the consistent mediocrity of his team and its location in the Midwest, where your name has to be LeBron for the national media to notice you. Blame his route to the NBA, which did not include a stint in college hoops, where he would have been one of the biggest stars. Blame his name. 

Soon enough the question of why people don’t know Antetokounmpo will be moot, becuase every will know Antetokounmpo. It’s inevitable given his ability to do things like this.

And this. 

Even Antetokounmpo’s fellow NBA superstars are jumping on board the hype train. Just last week, Kevin Durant said “I’ve never seen anything like him.”

“His ceiling is probably … he could end up being the best player to ever play if he really wanted to,” Durant said. “That’s pretty scary to think about. He’s by far my most favorite player to watch.”