‘Level of Excellence’: Charles Barkley Emphasizes Giannis Antetokounmpo Plays Harder Than Michael Jordan
The Milwaukee Bucks, upon the arrival of Jason Kidd as the coach and Giannis Antetokounmpo as a player, took off in 2017. However, it took them a few roster changes and a new coach in Mike Budenholzer to actually become a title contending team. But one thing remained constant, the Greek Freak.
Giannis grew stronger with the Bucks and developed his invisible antlers in the process. His loyalty towards the city of Milwaukee, upon signing the super max extension, bore its first fruit when they knocked out the Nets in the 2021 playoffs. And now, they’re just seven games away from taking the NBA title.
What does this entail about their team leader? Does it make him comparable to Michael Jordan?
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Michael Jordan
In a recent interview, after the Bucks’ blowout Game 2 win over the Hawks, Charles Barkley sparked a new debate. The Big Chuck first agreed how Giannis Antetokounmpo fights so very hard even in the games where he is struggling. The 58-YO expressed, “He is the big Russell Westbrook. Russell Westbrook and Giannis play harder than any two players in the NBA. Like every single night, they give maximum effort.”
Well, both are two-way players, and both have the affinity towards scoring triple-doubles while also taking care of defense. The world has seen how Russ pushed the Wizards into the playoffs by playing as hard as possible amidst all the criticism. But how is any of it connected with MJ?
Well, the NBA Hall of Famer further added, “I can’t even find anybody in my days, who gave maximum effort. [MJ]… not the level of Giannis, Michael was the greatest, but the level of excellence… *interrupted*.”
So that was how the Sixers legend felt Giannis is ahead of the greatest curve when it comes to playing hard during tough times.
Read More – ‘Shame on You Budenholzer’: Ja Morant & Others React to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks Thrashing Hawks in Game 2
What are other comparables, and when did the Greek Freak last prove his toughness?
Michael Jordan took seven years to help the Bulls win their first title. Currently, Giannis is operating in his eighth year with the Bucks and is very close to helping them win a title. He had already helped the Bucks win consecutive #1 seedings, and he has it in him to change their fate.
The Greek Freak was in attack mode:
25 PTS | 9 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 11/18 FG pic.twitter.com/QWeGjtm9Gv
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 26, 2021
Plus, in the last 13 postseason games, it has happened only thrice that the Freak had scored below 25 points. And even when he did score below that mark, the #34 ensured that he played hard and added at least a double-double.
Giannis is certainly not someone who would take to the bench in the final quarter if things go south. Instead, he would battle on the floor and support his teammates. As a result, he is currently averaging his playoff-high 29.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game (12 outings).
So what do you say, is Giannis playing harder than MJ did in his early days? Help us know in the comments.
Watch this story – Crazy Transformation of Giannis Atetokounmpo Over the Years
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