Giannis Antetokounmpo enters his 10th season in the NBA, and he’s looking to be a bigger problem than he already is. How is that even possible?
When it comes to pure skill and dominance, there are only a few names that make the shortlist of the greatest hoopers to lace them up. On that short list would Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James, who all share the ‘killer’ mindset that has broken the hearts of many opposing fanbases and elevated their status to all-time heights.
Antetokounmpo aims to be on that list and may already be there, as he psychologically challenges himself to dominate whatever is in his way of becoming the greatest of all time.
In a group text to his siblings, Antetokoumpo was inspired by a ‘Redeem Team’ movie scene that featured Bryant running through his then Los Angeles Lakers teammate Pau Gasol in an Olympic game. Let’s not forget, it was Bean who once challenged Antetokounmpo to become MVP in 2019. The late great Laker always had confidence in Antetokounmpo, so to see the multi-time All-Star embrace his inner “crazy” would make the Black Mamba happy.
“In order for you to be great, you have to be a little bit crazy.”
Through whispers in his head telling him he can’t do the impossible, Antetokounmpo responds to that inner monologue by overworking on areas of the game that he’s not elite in. Though that’s what a coach wishes to hear from their star player, Antetokoumpo adds a statement that lets you know he’s operating on a different level.
“I’m working so hard on things that I’m able to do, but I’m not unlocking it,” Antetokunmpo told The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. “And that’s the next step for me: to unlock things that I’ve worked on this summer and make my game easier.”
Season 10. Let’s gooooooo!! 😤💪🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/k8W6jZEtPB— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) October 19, 2022
Essentially, the back-to-back MVP has enforced the idea upon himself that no one can guard him effectively. Though it comes off a tad bit disrespectful, who really gets in the way of Antetokounmpo nowadays? The 2021 Finals MVP won his first championship off a ridiculous 50-point game that featured him making 17 made free throws, silencing critics who complained about his accuracy from the line and perceived it to be a weakness of his game.
When you factor in how the 2021 Finals MVP has evolved into an elite physical specimen capable of finesse scoring at times, you understand that the work ethic is there, and it’s resulted in Antetokounmpo becoming the most physically dominant player in the NBA today.
The Greek Freak is entering the early years of his prime as he turns 28-years-old on Dec. 6. Although NBA fans may consider Antetokounmpo the best player in the world, his legacy rides on just how far he’s willing to take the term ‘crazy.’