The MVP of the Finals, he takes over from Jabbar in Milwaukee and has established himself, at just 26 years old, as one of the most influential players of the past decades.
In the summer of 2013, just a few days after being selected in fifteenth place format, Giannis Antetokounmpo I stepped onto the wood floor of the Fisher Forum in Milwaukee and looked up to the ceiling, where a handful of Bucks jerseys hung. His parents didn’t quite understand what was happening, so he explained himself to his own 18-year-old. “All those names are legends because their number was retired. Maybe my number will be retired, maybe in 15 or 20 years. Maybe my number is next to it. Kareem Abdul Jabbari u Oscar RobertsonToday, after winning the ring, Antetokounmpo can already face those veterans of the Milwaukee franchise. His performance in six matches against the Suns was 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 blocks, 1.2 steals and a 61.8% field goal percentage. , will forever be remembered as one of the greatest performances of the NBA Finals.
“It’s an addictive feeling. I love playing the playoffs and finals. These are moments I want to chase. I want the team to build on this and I hope we can do it again,” he said. anteto After the victory in the sixth game (105–98), the starting point of what some consider a new dynasty in the league. For now, at just 26 years old, the Greek is starting to carve a place for himself among the most influential tall players in history. the elite where they are involved George Mikana, bill russell, Wilt Chamberlain, hakim olajuwon, Shaquille O’neal, Tim Duncan Or Jabbar himself.
Nothing seemed possible less than a month ago, when a hyper extension in his left knee during the fourth match against Atlanta seriously affected his future. playoffs. However, exactly a week later, his appearance in the opening five against the Phoenix earned Jabbar credited that phrase in the magazine. Time: “To see him on track is to see not only what he is, but also what is possible.”
always by painting
Comparisons between Jabbar and Giannis have been common currency among Milwaukee fans, whose enthusiasm in the stands ended a necessary result in a comeback (4-2). Elders remember Jabbar’s invincible throwing technique sky hook, while the way the new generation vibrates antetoAbandoning the outside shot, he opens a hole in the area where no one can stop him anymore.
Half a century later, the team of Mike Budenholzer continued its 1971 success, when the Bucks, author of 66 regular season victories, the Baltimore Bullets, overcame the final hurdle for the ring. After 4–0, Jabbar was awarded the final MVP (27.0 points, 18.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists). That alliance with Robertson has been updated today with the one formed by Antetokoupo and jury holiday. without forgetting, of course, the contribution of chris middleton, PJ Tucker Tu or Bobby Portis.
Yet Giannis’ tremendous superiority in the two areas has been beyond comparison in recent decades. In the 21st century, only O’Neill offered that sense of power. Notably in the 2000 final against Indiana, when the Lakers’ pivot averaged 38.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. Now, Giannis not only takes over, but challenges Lebron James or Michael Jordan. At 26, he can claim a ring, two MVP awards, one from the finals and the other for best defender in the league. At the same age, the Bulls guard had to settle for an MVP, an award cheater Defender of the year and second best. James, for his part, wore the distinction for two MVPs and best rookie.
a wrong forecast
His performance on Tuesday, combined with a formidable 17/19 from the free kick, the weakest side of his repertoire, allows him to enter another select club. So far, only bob petit (50 in 1958), Elgin Baylor (61 in 1962), Rick Barry (55 in 1967), jerry west (53 in 1969), Jordan (55 in 1993) and James (51 in 2018) reached 50 points in a final game. And his 33 points in the second half only surpassed the writer Jordan of 35 in the first half of the first game of the 1992 final against Portland.
Today it is worth thinking about how 14 teams let Antetokounmpo escape? format 2013, whose first choice was Canadian Anthony Bennett, cut two weeks ago by the traditional Puerto Rican basketball powerhouse, Congrejeros de Santuras. And it’s also worth questioning Jabbar’s forecast, who five weeks ago, after the fifth game against the Nets, questioned whether the Bucks had title choices. “No, not at all.”