Is Giannis Antetokounmpo the ‘Lamar Jackson of the NBA’? Former Super Bowl Winner and NCAA Basketball Champion Debate

Published 10/21/2021, 11:22 AM EDT


Comparisons fly fast and heavy in the sports world, but this one takes the cherry’s pick. NFL superstar and Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in the same conversation right now. Last year’s NBA Finals winner and the Ravens’ star quarterback hold the same amount of power in American sports right now.

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Lamar Jackson vs Giannis Antetokounmpo

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First up, both superstars have MVP-level credentials. They both carry their teams to some excellent performances, and they have a stellar supporting cast. Lamar Jackson has Mark Andrews and Marquis ‘Hollywood’ Brown to catch his passes and convert them. Meanwhile, the Greek Freak has Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen on his side.

On ESPN, NFL legend and former Super Bowl winner Keyshawn Johnson, former NBA superstar Jay Williams and Max Kellerman discussed the comparison between the two MVPS. Johnson claims Lamar Jackson had his doubters in the beginning, but the more they pushed the goalpost further for him, the more he exceeded it.

“Every single game, every single week, every single year you move the goalposts five yards, he moves it up 20. You try to move it back another 25, he moves it to midfield.” Johnson implores not just listeners but even casual NFL fans to recognise how special Lamar Jackson is as a QB. Johnson then brings the attention to Giannis as the comparison continued.

Jay Williams took it forward from there. He said, Giannis is the Lamar Jackson of the NBA, right? Because the goal post does get moved. You talk about where Lamar Jackson was drafted. What? 32nd? Giannis was drafted 15th right? Both guys are freakishly athletic; both guys have unorthodox games. We wanted Giannis to shoot free throws. He’s gotten better over time. You wanna see Lamar Jackson throw outside the numbers. He’s always been able to do it to a degree, but now he’s gotten better over time.”

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Is Giannis as entertaining as Lamar?

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Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) begins to celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

One thing we cannot take away from Lamar Jackson is the entertainment factor. Against Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson did a front flip into the end zone, risking an injury only for a visual. He not only beat the Chiefs, but beat them by one point. If that’s not entertainment, you’re watching the wrong sport.

“If you stand or sit courtside, and you watch Giannis, you see that he’s seven feet tall. How his a** can move from side to side? The eurosteps, the dexterity of his hands around the rim; the way he can block shots. It jumps off the court! It’s astounding to watch,” said Jay Williams.

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While these arguments don’t concretely prove that Giannis and Lamar Jackson are in the same conversation, it gives fans a reason to think. Are they really so comparable? Do the 2019 NFL and NBA MVPs have that much in common? And more importantly, how successful will they be this season?

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Nathan Fulgado

1373 articles

Nathan Fulgado is an NFL author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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