The Athletic is celebrating the NBA’s 75th season by releasing their list of the Top 75 players in NBA history. A few months back it was revealed that Giannis Antetokounmpo made the exclusive list. As with any list there is always some controversy, but it comes as no surprise that Giannis made it. In just eight full seasons he has amassed more accolades than many Hall of Famers. How high could the two-time MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and reigning Finals MVP place? Eric Nehm sat down with Giannis to reveal where he exactly placed and get his reaction.
Where was Giannis Ranked?
It was unveiled to the public on January 18th that The Athletic ranked the Greek Freak as the 24th best player in NBA history. Ranking him above the likes of Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Dwyane Wade, CP3 and Scottie Pippen just to name a few. To put that in perspective, placing 24th in 75 years indicates that Giannis would’ve likely been better than any other player taken in three full draft classes. What makes it even crazier is that this is based on the full career’s worth of basketball and Giannis is the youngest player in the top 75.
Given that information, it is almost a given that Giannis will climb significantly higher up the ranks before his career is over. How far will he go? Only time will tell. But it is clear that Giannis is earning the respect he deserves from national perspective. His performance so far this season will help his cause, especially if they make another deep playoff run. Watching him thus far has been an absolute treat for us Bucks fans, let’s make sure to appreciate the greatness while we have it. If he can win a couple more championships in Milwaukee he could go down as one of the greatest fo ever play.
According to Nehm, when Antetokounmpo heard the news he was shocked. The transparent superstar was as acting like he didn’t think he even deserved a top 100 spot, let alone 24.
“They got me at 24?” Antetokounmpo asked. “I’m 24? Pfffffffffffffffffffff.”
At one point the time time MVP asked Nehm if he was kidding. Although it’s obvious it was for real, he needed some time to reflect before accepting it as a fact. The best part of the interview for Bucks fans came after he gathered himself though.
Eric Nehm began talking about how high on the list he could be with another decade of basketball, and Giannis had this to say.
“No, I want to play 20 years,” Antetokounmpo said, repeating one of his goals. “Hopefully, I can play all 20 of those years with the Bucks.”
While many may not understand how such a superstar could be so unaware of their status amongst their peers, I think it’s a testament to his focus. Giannis is so focused in everything he does. Constantly preaching about trying to stay in the moment. So locked into his improvement that he never allows himself to take in what he’s accomplished. It’s what keeps him humble and always improving. When all is said and done, the Greek Freak could be very near the top of the ranks. Let’s all enjoy the ride while we can.
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