There are big-name rookies … and then there are big-name rookies
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been making a name for himself with the Milwaukee Bucks.
When the NBA team selected Antetokounmpo out of the Greek second division in the June draft as an 18-year-old, he was 6-foot-9. He’s added an inch since then, and doctors think he could be a 7-footer by the time he turns 21. In fact, he reportedly already has the wingspan of a 7-foot-3 man.
That qualifies him as a candidate for Big Man on Campus down the road and makes him a highly intriguing shooting guard/"small" forward in a league where size mismatches are something to be exploited.
It’s just too bad that the Greek youngster’s teammates are no closer to being able to pronounce his name than they are to the Indiana Pacers in the Central Division standings at the moment.
Let’s face it, it’s not a name that rolls off the tongue the way a hardwood court star’s feathery jumper rolls off the fingertips.
See what we mean:
Antetokounmpo’s performance has been somewhat hit-and-miss thus far. He’s only scored in double digits twice, with a high of 11 points vs. the Miami Heat Nov. 12 in a 118-95 blowout loss.
But playing time is on the upswing and he’s averaged 21 minutes a game over his past five appearances, twice registering four assists in a game and also blocking seven shots in that span while contributing 29 points and 22 rebounds.
It adds up to averages of 5.1 points and 3.2 rebounds thus far in his rookie season, but that’s enough to qualify as a name to remember … even if his fellow Bucks can’t.