ESPN's Kendrick Perkins said that critics should stop disrespecting Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time MVP and 2021 champion. The Milwaukee Bucks' forward has seen his fair share of criticism from analysts and former NBA players.
Antetokounmpo is one of the most recognizable players in the modern NBA. His combination of size, skill and talent makes him a force on the court. But with great talent comes great criticism. Giannis has had to deal with a lot of comments addressed towards him, and he's often proven them wrong.
Former NBA players like Charles Oakley, Isiah Thomas and even Perkins have had something to say about Antetokounmpo. Here are a few:
Just recently, there's been a new addition. Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala made a questionable comparison. On "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz," Iguodala compared former NBA player Rasheed Wallace to the Greek Freak.
"He'd be better than Giannis," Iguodala said.
Wallace, the No. 4 pick in the 1995 draft, was a four-time All-Star who played for six teams across 16 seasons. He won a championship in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons after being a late-season addition, his third team that season. He never averaged more than 19.3 points per game in a season.
In addition to being the centerpiece of Milwaukee's 2021 title, Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP and 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year. He's also a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, a six-time All-Star and a five-time All-Defensive team member. The 2021 NBA Finals MVP, he averaged 29.9 points per game last season.
Perk fired back:
"Listen, Rasheed wouldn't come close to Giannis Antetokounmpo," Perkins said. "Can we stop disrespecting this man? I called him a Robin and he showed up in Game 6 of the Finals with a 50-piece.”
"We probably would never see another Giannis Antetokounmpo ever again in life. Let's stop with the disrespect."
The Greek Freak has done a ton in the league, yet he still gets disrespected by the players who played before him. He's still young and can add more trophies to his collection. However, there will surely be a ton of criticism that will come with his success.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's loyalty has rewarded him with success
Winning is a huge part of why players choose to join or leave a team. While many players bounce around the league forming super teams, there have been a few who have stayed with one team and generated success.
Notable players like LA Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan and the Dallas Mavericks' own Dirk Nowitzki stayed and won with one team. Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be on the same path.
Drafted by the Bucks in 2013 with the 15th pick, no one really knew what to expect from Giannis. He was a raw, lanky prospect who no one really paid much attention to. Years went by and people saw him develop into a superstar. In 2016-17, he was awarded the Most Improved Player award. Since then, he never looked back and took the league by storm.
Captivating fans with his high-flying dunks, intimidating defense and intense focus. From there, Giannis collected trophies, from MVP to DPOY awards and finally winning it all in 2021 against the Phoenix Suns. Antetokounmpo has shown that being loyal to one team can pay off.