The Defensive Player of The Year has been on everybody’s mind recently. Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the star players of the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks started off great with a place in the top seed but it looks like Miami Heat were too much to handle for them. In the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Bucks ended up losing with a humiliating 4-1 score. While some said that the Bucks are better off without Giannis, some also believe that they wouldn’t stand a single chance of survival without him.
Recently, the reigning MVP was compared to a Hall of Famer which was received with a lot of mixed emotions. When we all thought that this conversation had died down, another NBA Analyst decided to speak up and made comparisons of his own.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Scottie Pippen or Shaquille O’Neal?
There are two duos’ in the history of the NBA franchise that will forever remain iconic. One is the Chicago Bulls‘ Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan duo, and the other is the LA Lakers‘ Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant duo. Each two are looked up to for their chemistry on the court. Every player needs that right-hand man and that is what most people think is missing in Giannis’ life.
In a recent tweet by Former NBA player, Richard Jefferson stated, “Giannis might be a Pippen… there I said it! He needs his Jordan.” What looked like a harmless tweet turned into a wildfire of criticism.
Giannis might be a Pippen…. there I said it! He needs his Jordan. pic.twitter.com/L89DG9JjHD
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) September 3, 2020
However, there is another NBA Analyst who disagreed with this viewpoint and asserted, “He’s not Pippen looking for his Jordan, Antetokounmpo is Shaq looking for his Kobe.” Max Kellerman further explained, “Because even Shaq got zip without either a prime Kobe Bryant or a prime Dwayne Wade. Shaq, one of the greatest setters who ever lived needed one of the greatest shooting guards who ever lived in order to win a single championship. When he got it, he won four altogether.”
"He's not Pippen looking for his Jordan, Antetokounmpo is Shaq looking for his Kobe."
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 9, 2020
He is quite right. If you think about, Giannis may have Khris Middleton to be his right-hand man. But he still needs him at his prime throughout for the team to get a championship. He can’t possibly alone be the bearer of responsibility.
Should the DPOY be flattered or offended?
There may be some players who may consider being compared to a legend a form of flattery. Nevertheless, every player aims to stand out and have an individuality too. I do believe Giannis needs more support from his teammates but I also think he just needs to be the best version of himself and nobody else.