How Giannis Antetokounmpo is Living Up to Kevin Durant’s 2017 Prediction For Him

Published 09/17/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Jun 19, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives past Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in the third quarter during game seven in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


It takes an entire NBA career for a player to enter the conversation as one of the best. Nevertheless, some, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, didn’t take long to have their names etched at the top of the game. Similarly, a young Giannis Antetokounmpo is not far behind from doing the same.

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Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first-ever NBA championship in half a century. Moreover, the Greek national battled through an injury to compete for his team. His loyalty and determination finally bore fruit, and he even won the Finals MVP for his heroic performance against The Phoenix Suns.


Surprisingly, back in 2017, Kevin Durant made an interesting prediction about ‘The Greek Freak’. A prediction that very well may turn into a reality.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo on his way to be the GOAT?

In 2017, Durant said that Antetokounmpo had a lot of potential. According to Durant, ‘The Greek Freak’ is a force that he has never seen before. But what caught everyone’s eye is that he gave him the ultimate praise.

Durant said: “Greek Freak, I think is force and I have never seen anything like him. And he is still in his prime. He could end up being the best player to ever play, if he really wanted to.”

Receiving such praise from one of the best scorers to play the game is amazing. Moreover, Antetokounmpo’s career seems to be unfolding just the way Kevin Durant predicted. At twenty-six, Antetokounmpo has a resume that many NBA players can only imagine retiring with. He is a two-time MVP, an NBA champion, Finals MVP, and also a Defensive Player of the Year.

Additionally, he is only one of three players to win MVP and DPOY in the same season. Durant mentioned that he could be the best if he wants to, and Giannis is surely on his way. While he has found immense success, Giannis’ work ethic remains steadfast. ‘The Greek Freak’ will continue to build his legacy and further make his case as one of the greatest players to play the game.

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Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) accepts the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award from NBA commissioner Adam Silver after game six of the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t the best yet, he surely ranks among the most elite players in the league today.

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Considering his age, Antetokounmpo is still in his prime and will be for a long time. A couple more championships and he will surely be in the GOAT conversation, without a doubt.

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Do you think Antetokounmpo can retire as the GOAT? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

370 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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