When Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo is asked before a recent home game in Milwaukee if he is trying to create highlight plays when he goes out onto the court, he smiles. “That’s my game,” he said. “That’s my game. I’m not trying to do highlights. I just play, and whatever happens, you know?” Whatever happens when Antetokounmpo steps onto the floor is people’s eyes are immediately drawn to him. The 6-foot-10 forward from Greece, who turned 19 last week, is all arms and legs and full of boundless athletic potential. A quick YouTube search will pull up all kinds of impressive plays he has pulled off in his first few weeks as an NBA player. Perhaps the best example is from the Bucks’ 92-85 win over the Celtics in Milwaukee on Nov. 30. Antetokounmpo sprinted downcourt to block a Jordan Crawford layup at one end, then sprinted back to the other end, caught a pass and threw down a huge slam, sending the Bradley Center crowd into hysterics. “I enjoy it,” Antetokounmpo said. “I love the people who love me, the people in Milwaukee who love me, the fans. I thank them because they give me confidence whenever I go out there, and it’s a very nice feeling when you feel like the guys want you here and love you here and cheer for you.” Plays like that prompted ESPN’s Bill Simmons to suggest someone start a “Greek Freak Alert” Twitter account to let fans with NBA League Pass know when Antetokounmpo would be entering a game — the Bucks responded almost immediately by creating one — and leave Bucks coach Larry Drew shaking his head sometimes. “I know at the very beginning and watching him, he seemed to be just thinking a lot, thinking about where to go and what to do,” Drew said. “Now he’s just reacting. … He isn’t putting a lot of thought behind it. I just told him to let your natural basketball instincts to take over, and he’s done that. “I think, with his size and with his length, he’s one of the few players on our team … there’s things that he does that we have other guys that just can’t do them. He certainly brings something very unique to the table. He’s certainly one of our most athletic guys, and with his length and ability to pass the basketball, he’s one of the few guys on our team that if he doesn’t score, he can do other things to impact the game. And I’m very, very intrigued by that” Coming out of the second division of Greek basketball – not exactly a hotbed for NBA talent – it was unclear exactly what Antetokounmpo’s ceiling would be entering the draft. But the Bucks took a chance on him with the 15th overall pick, and he’s been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise depressing season in Milwaukee.
‘Greek Freak’ is the Bucks’ highlight-a-minute rookie
New York Post | Dec 14