Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t say he’s the face of the NBA: ‘There’s a lot of people out there’

 

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has won two MVP awards, a Defensive Player of the Year award and brought an NBA championship to the city of Milwaukee for the first time since 1971.

Antetokounmpo is off to a torrid start to kick off the 2022-23 NBA season, leading his Bucks to a 10-3 start as he averages 31.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.2 assist, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts prior to facing the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena Nov. 7, 2022, in Atlanta.
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

And yet, Antetokounmpo still does not feel he’s the face of the NBA.

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On an episode of “How Hungry Are You” with Bucks’ teammate Serge Ibaka, Antetokounmpo said that while he feels like he’s “one of the faces” of the league, LA Lakers star LeBron James is still the top dog.

“LeBron is,” Antetokounmpo told Ibaka. “LeBron’s still playing. Steph [Curry] just won a championship, KD’s [Kevin Durant] still hooping. [Joel] Embiid’s killing. [Nikola] Jokic back-to-back MVP. Luka [Doncic] Magic. There’s a lot of people out there.”

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks up toward the video board against the LA Clippers in the second half of a game at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles Nov. 9, 2022.
(Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

While Antetokounmpo remains humble, it’s hard to argue he is not at least on par with the players he mentioned.

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If not for an injury to Khris Middleton, it’s quite likely the Bucks would have had the opportunity to defend their 2021 NBA title against the Golden State Warriors.

Without Middleton in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, Antetokounmpo put Milwaukee on his broad shoulders, averaging 33.8 points in the seven-game series. He scored over 40 points three times in the series and twice grabbed 20 rebounds in a game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to an official’s call during a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Fiserv Forum Nov. 14, 2022, in Milwaukee, Wis. The Hawks defeated the Bucks 121-106.
(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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Antetokounmpo once again has Milwaukee near the top of the Eastern Conference and is looking to add a second championship to his resume.

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“He does everything the right way on and off the court, plays unselfishly, plays the defensive end, changes games with blocked shots, rebounding and passing,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, according to NBA.com. “He has a belief in team, a commitment to team. Giannis is Giannis, he’s special, very unique. We’re all grateful to be part of this while he goes on his journey.”