Sports Illustrated has released its annual Top 100 list of NBA players for the 2019-2020 season, and for the first time in the list’s six year history LeBron James has been trumped from the top spot to number 3 by none other than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The publication penned a stellar write-up on the Milwaukee Buck’s forward, stating that “No star player invests more into every possession than Giannis Antetokounmpo, which goes a long way for an unreasonably athletic 7-footer with real ingenuity”.
“His give-a-shit quotient is just off the charts. It’s what makes him the game’s most dangerous transition threat and, by extension, one of its most powerful defensive rebounders; there’s just no consistent answer for a player who can pull down a board over an opposing center, outrace most of the opposing team down the floor, and dunk off a stride from just inside the three-point line. If there’s a form of defense to wall off the basket, Antetokounmpo has seen it. Most of the time he just muscles through it, eurosteps around it, or if he’s feeling particularly feisty, dunks all over it.”
The list highlighted that the ‘Greek Freak’ made 567 shots at the rim last season, which was not only the highest mark in the league, but the highest mark by over 100 makes.
“What more could you really want? I ask in part because you may get it; there’s not a question as to whether Antetokounmpo will get better but how. Most of the other top players in the game are relatively finished products. Antetokounmpo is a 24-year-old MVP still learning to puzzle out the action in real time. Every instance in which you can see him thinking through a possession is a terrifying hint that this can all get faster and cleaner and better. What a thought.
“This is the future. This is Giannis’s world.”
Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s 2018-19 Most Valuable Player.
He has been representing Greece at the FIBA World Cup in China the last few weeks, before the team was eliminated in the second round stage.
Sports Illustrated’s Top 10:
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
2. Kawhi Leonard
3. LeBron James
4. Stephen Curry
5. James Harden
6. Anthony Davis
7. Joel Embiid
8. Nikola Jokić
9. Paul George
10. Damian Lillard