Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Developing MVP Candidacy

Jeff Grundy, News Editor

   Giannis Antetokounmpo, a NBA basketball player on the Milwaukee Bucks who was the 2016-2017 season’s Most Improved Player, is, according to ESPN, on track to be in contention for the MVP. Giannis was born into a family of six and formed a bond with his older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who now plays professional basketball in Spain. Giannis joined basketball because of his brother, and the boys would take to the streets of Greece, imitating basketball legend Allen Iverson on the court.

  Giannis was drafted in 2013 by the Milwaukee Bucks as the 15th overall pick in the draft. Coming into the league as a rookie was difficult because he had a very low scoring percentage and took unnecessary shots, failing to excel point-wise. An avid basketball fan, Jackson Cizma (11), said, “Giannis wasn’t good in the beginning and many people don´t remember how bad rookies are when they get into the league.”

  Five seasons of hard work later, on November 7th, Giannis signed a long-term partnership with Nike and if he’s given a signature shoe, he’ll be the 22nd athlete to receive a signature shoe with the brand, according to SBNation. To announce the partnership, he put out a statement on Twitter claiming that ¨Family, Loyalty, and Legacy” were his reasons for re-joining Nike.

  This 2017-18 season has been a breakout year for Giannis. According to ESPN, he has a field-goal percentage (or made-shot percentage) of 58.2% and his points-per-game went from 15.5 to 31.3, becoming the leader of his team in this statistic. Ethan Elliott (11), a die-hard Bucks fan, insisted that Giannis is on the same level as the current MVP.

  “Giannis is the leader of the team with no replacements.”

  To many, Giannis is going to be MVP this year, but he remains humble.  In response to why he lacks recognition unlike Lebron James, he said, “I don’t feel like I’m an equal with them. I just have to keep working hard, and one day I can be in the same league.” That’s the mindset of Giannis, a player who persevered to get where he is today, and may become a NBA legend in the future.