A week ago, former NBA player Charles Oakley made an outlandish statement about Giannis Antetokoumpo. Since then, Isiah Thomas has responded to Oakley’s comments. If you didn’t see Oakley’s statement, check out the video.
Charles Oakley says Giannis Antetokounmpo would come off the bench in his era 😯
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) February 25, 2022
Giannis has indeed come off the bench, but that was his rookie season in 2013-14. That year, Giannis started 23 of the 77 games he played in.
Isiah Thomas Defends the Greek Freak
A few days after Oakley’s comment, Isiah Thomas gave high praise to Giannis on NBA TV. Thomas, who checks in as the 27th best player on the 75th Anniversary Team, called Giannis a generational talent.
Isiah Thomas that a freak like Giannis Antetokounmpo only comes once in a while 😤 pic.twitter.com/1JGx1Jxl6M
— Bucks Nation (@BucksNationCP) March 2, 2022
Few players in the NBA play as hard as Giannis. Some would call him a “try-hard” but the fact is, Giannis only knows how to play one way. To see the full Isiah Thomas interview, check it out below.
Isiah Thomas on Charles Oakley saying Giannis would come off the bench in his era:
"That dude would dog you every single time y'all stepped on the court. You may hit him hard. OK. After that, you ain't got no game!" pic.twitter.com/6xYSzwUZse
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 1, 2022
A few games after the flagrant 2 foul that saw Grayson Allen ejected, Giannis gets fouled hard by Montrezl Harrell.
Giannis gets absolutely hacked by Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Portis immediately gets in Harrell’s face. pic.twitter.com/1BIgzHKcWo
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) February 2, 2022
Because of Giannis’s physical play, he often takes a beating by opposing defenses. The hard foul committed by Harrell didn’t shake Giannis; he ended up going for 33 points in that game. If Giannis can take hard fouls like the one above and finish like he did, Giannis could play in any era!
Towards the bottom of every player’s basketball reference page is a section for appearances on leaderboards, awards, and honors. Among this section is a Hall of Fame probability. Giannis has an 87.2% chance to make the HOF, though he is likely a lock. What is Charles Oakley’s chances of making the HOF? 0.4%. This is, yet again, another reason why Giannis would dominate Oakley in any era he chooses.
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