NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo had his ‘favorite moment’ of NBA career against Lakers, and you probably didn’t notice

On a professional level, Giannis Antetokounmpo has accomplished more in his 26 years than most of us will in our entire lives. He’s a two-time NBA MVP, a five-time All-Star, a Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time All-NBA selection. He’s endured memorable playoff battles and took home his first All-Star Game MVP less than a month ago. His Milwaukee Bucks are making a push for the Eastern Conference’s best record for the third straight season, and his numbers have him in consideration for a third consecutive MVP award, which only NBA legends Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell have accomplished.

Yet the best moment of Giannis’ NBA career, which came in Wednesday night’s 112-97 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, had nothing to do with awards or accolades. In fact, most of the national TV audience had probably tuned out at that point. For the first time, Giannis and two of his brothers — Thanasis, his Bucks teammate, and Kostas, a Lakers forward — played together simultaneously during an NBA game.

The trio shared the floor for 52 seconds, joining Jrue, Justin and Aaron Holiday as the only sets of three brothers to play together in an NBA game. Giannis couldn’t contain his emotions after his family’s rare accomplishment.

“This moment today is probably my favorite moment I’ve had so far in the NBA,” Giannis said after the game. “You can never have a feeling like this, no matter what you do. You win a game with a buzzer beater, you score 50, you score 40 — like, it does not frickin’ matter.

“This moment, just seeing the guys that I grew up with, and we slept in the same bed, and we were looking at the ceiling and imagining if we were ever going to play in the NBA, if we were ever going to make it and just being on the same court while our mom is having her phone and videotaping the whole thing — I think it’s priceless, and nobody can take this away from us. I think this is the best moment we’ve ever had in the NBA.”

Giannis finished the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds, Thanasis added eight points and Kostas finishes scoreless in two minutes. Giannis also had a good laugh at a play late in the fourth quarter when Thanasis hit a step-back jumper over Kostas.

“I don’t know. Thanasis is just ruthless, man,” Giannis said. “Went in, had the step-back on his little brother. Come on, man. How can you do that to your little brother? I had the opportunity to do the same, but I didn’t.”

Along with his bountiful accolades, Giannis has endured plenty of criticism over the past couple of seasons for the Bucks’ lack of playoff success, and whether his style of play can eventually lead to a championship. Moments like this, however, really put things in perspective. These were three young men in Greece fighting with everything they had to make it to the NBA. Not only were they all able to do it, but they also got to share the floor together on national TV.

By the way, their 19-year-old brother Alex is now playing in Spain with designs on an NBA career, so it might not be long until we see four Antetokounmpos in the league at the same time. What a family.



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