Isiah Thomas Makes a Unique Comparison Between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson

Published 10/27/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game four of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, commonly established as the new generational basketball player, has entered his prime years in the NBA. Winning a championship, a Finals MVP award, and securing all the hearts in Milwaukee, the Greek Freak is weighing on heavy-scale player comparisons these days.

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Antetokounmpo, who averaged 28 points last year, is heading into his 9th NBA season. His dominance in the league recently saw its boom after clinching the 2021 title.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo reminds Isiah Thomas of a former player

With a frame so big and a phenomenal transformation during the years, Giannis has secured a huge presence in matchups. Former Pistons star Isiah Thomas recently drew comparisons between Antetokounmpo and Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson.

Ralph Sampson is a former NBA player who was playing against the likes of Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and other legends. He played for bigwig teams like Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers during his basketball career that ended with an injury-driven decision. NBA legend Isiah Thomas drew parallels between the Greek Freak and 7-ft-4-inch power forward, Sampson.

“The one player that really reminds me a lot of Giannis – Ralph Sampson,” Isiah mentioned.“Ralph Sampson was 7″4′, bringing the ball up the court, making passes, shooting jump shots, dunking on you right hand, and left hand. I just hadn’t never seen anybody that tall but the skill that he had was just off the charts.”

That skillset sounds quite familiar to what Giannis Antetokounmpo is doing on the court these days. Many pundits have also commented that if not for injury, Sampson could have created an illustrious career for himself with a ton of dominance.

A starry NBA resume for Antetokounmpo

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Sampson earned an All-star MVP award in 1985, he’s a 4-time All-star and a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame.

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

Well, the boy from Greece has grown into a tall and broad figure. Antetokounmpo is right now out there defending his NBA title alongside teammate Khris Middleton. All these years in Milwaukee, Giannis is now a Finals MVP, season MVP, All-star MVP, NBA champion, and DPOY winner.

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Do you think Antetokounmpo is living the potential career of Ralph Sampson? Let us know in the comments.

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Pavni Ahuja

536 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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