NBA

Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Giannis, signs two-year deal with French team owned by Tony Parker

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Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, has signed a two-year deal with French club LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, the team announced Monday. Antetokounmpo had spent the past two years on two-way deals with the Los Angeles Lakers, but across those two seasons he played in only 20 games at the NBA level. He was originally the No. 60 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks.

The French team with which Antetokounmpo is signing has a number of connections to the NBA. The majority owner of the team is San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker. Los Angeles Clippers forward Nic Batum is also a shareholder, and in 2017, was named director of basketball operations. The team’s leading scorer last season was former Miami Heat guard Norris Cole. Former Phoenix Suns guard Elie Okobo also signed with the team last week.

Antetokounmpo averaged 14.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in the G-League during the 2019-20 season, but like his brother, he struggles as a shooter. He made six of his 39 3-point attempts with the South Bay Lakers and only 58.9 percent of his free throws. The Lakers did not send their South Bay affiliates to the G-League bubble last season, so Antetokounmpo stayed with the NBA roster all season.

Kostas will not be the only Antetokounmpo brother playing abroad. The youngest of the four basketball players in the family, Alex, signed with Spanish club UCAM Murcia in 2020. Thanasis, the eldest of the four and currently a reserve on the Bucks, will be a free agent after the Finals and will likely draw interest both in the NBA (likely from the Bucks) and abroad. Kostas might not have played much in the NBA, but no matter what happens in the 2021 Finals, he was the first member of the family to win a championship as a member of the 2020 Lakers. Now, though, he’ll have more of a chance to prove himself as an individual player in a slightly less competitive league. 



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