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Big Bucks for Antetokounmpo

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has a lot to grab on and off the court (Photo: ESPN)

Well, not exactly, considering the crazy deals a lot of free agents signed this summer and the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo signed less than the max contract that was available in order to provide the Milwaukee Bucks more financial flexibility to build the team into a contender. Regardless of that fact, Antetokounmpo got a big deal from the Bucks by signing a cool $100 million to stay with the organization for the next five years.

The Greek Freak, as he’s fondly called, has made a smooth transition from a talented rookie into one of basketball’s impressive athletes in the game today.

For a player that has yet to reach his prime, Antetokounmpo, who turns 22 this December, certainly deserves the hefty deal from the Bucks who saw him morph into the early stages of the freakish specimen everyone hoped he would be – a prototypical Magic Johnson with more length and a killer instinct. Antetokounmpo recorded his first career triple-double in February against the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He would amass five total triple-doubles at the end of the 2015-2016 season, convincing Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd to move him permanently to the starting point guard position when the 2016-17 season begins.

Apr 3, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the game against the Chicago Bulls at BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Chicago won 102-98.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the game against the Chicago Bulls at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Chicago won 102-98. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kidd, who holds the record for the most triple-doubles in league history with 118 over the course of his illustrious career, thinks Antetokounmpo is capable of achieving the same feat as Oscar Robertson by averaging a triple-double in a single season.

“You can’t say no, and I hate to put that pressure on him. You look at what [Russell] Westbrook has done. There’s going to be a chance for a player to do something Oscar [Robertson] has done, and that’s averaging a triple-double.

“Is there a player that could do it? Westbrook is probably one. Giannis is probably right there in that same conversation. As he gets older and starts to dissect the game better, you can’t rule him out.”

With Antetokounmpo finally getting paid, in full, and running the show at the point in Milwaukee, fans hope the Greek Freak can justify the ‘doe’ and lead the Bucks to win more than 33 games and earn a playoff spot in the upcoming season.

Antetokounmpo whose ancestry is Nigerian, though he associates with Greece, his country of birth, has no doubts of his ability to deliver.

“First of all, I’m not going to lie; I’m nervous but I think I’m going to do a good job of this….I think this is just security for my family. Just knowing that my family is going to be good, that my little brothers are going to be good.”

Antetokounmpo has improved his averages in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, and minutes over each season he has played in the NBA. He currently averages 12.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 238 games played since 2013 when he was drafted 15th overall by the Bucks in the first round. He currently ranks third on Buck’s all-time list for career triple-doubles and he is also the first player in franchise history to record five triple-doubles in a single season.

Apr 1, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the game against the Orlando Magic at BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Milwaukee won 113-110.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the game against the Orlando Magic at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Milwaukee won 113-110. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Antetokounmpo is aware of the expectations and responsibilities that come with being handed a lucrative deal as the one he has just signed as he said during the press conference announcing the deal Tuesday afternoon:

“This is a big step for me, I’ve got to show on the court and off the court that I’m a leader.”

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Adekunle Binuyo
Just a fanatical hoop head lost in the art and science of the game.
Adekunle Binuyo
Adekunle Binuyo

About Adekunle Binuyo

Just a fanatical hoop head lost in the art and science of the game.

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