Gilbert Arenas recently criticized Giannis Antetokounmpo and fans did not appreciate what he had to say. On the latest episode of the "No Chill with Gilbert Arenas" podcast, both he and Josiah Johnson addressed Gilbert's criticism of the Greek Freak.
"So the comments I made, when I say he hasn't developed, we're not talking about the physical part. He did a great job on his body. When I say, you know, getting smarter, he doesn't know the game yet. Right now he's playing the game, all physical. It's all a physical game for him."
To put things into context, let's take a look back at what Arenas had to say about Antetokounmpo. During a previous episode of the podcast, Arenas made some bold claims about the Milwaukee Bucks superstar:
“I can look at his game and say he doesn’t understand basketball, he plays the sport. He won a championship, cool. He doesn’t really understand how to be great. How to be better.”
Arenas made it clear that he wasn't belittling Antetokounmpo at all. He recognizes the fact that Antetokounmpo puts in the work and plays hard every game. However, Arenas simply wants to see Antetokounmpo grow in the mental aspect of the game.
"Let's go to the mental side. Is he smarter than Chris Paul? Is he smarter than LeBron James? Is he smarter than Curry? Klay? Draymond? Kawhi Leonard? Jokic? Luka? If he doesn't rank number one in that, that's what I mean.
"If he ranks at the end of that, think about how much of the game he needs to learn to be in front of those guys."
It's true that basketball isn't just a sport that focuses on physical prowess, but mental IQ as well. However, we cannot deny the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the top guys in the league today. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how a person perceives the definition of greatness.
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The Basketball world defends Giannis Antetokounmpo
It's clear that Gilbert Arenas isn't the biggest fan of Giannis Antetokounmpo. That doesn't mean everybody else shares the same sentiment as Arenas. After his baffling comments about the Greek Freak, some NBA greats gave their two cents on the situation.
In an interview with Eurobasket, veteran point guard Goran Dragic shut down Arenas' bold statements about Antetokounmpo. When the interviewer asked about Dragic's thoughts, he immediately expressed a disgusted face before giving his answer. Dragic said:
"Giannis is MVP. Gilbert Arenas, I don't now, was he ever MVP? I don't think so.
"Giannis won a championship, he won MVP, he became a Defensive Player of the Year. Sometimes when they retire, they just want to be relative."
Dragic recognizes the talent and abilities Arenas had on the court. But that doesn't mean that Arenas can criticize Giannis Antetokounmpo, especially considering that Arenas never won anything significant in his career.
Another notable name who defended Giannis Antetokounmpo is NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki. During a press conference at EuroBasket 2022, Nowitzki shared his thoughts on Giannis:
"He is one of the best players in the world and has shown it as a champion and an MVP. He is the first one to tell you that you can always improve. But if you look at what he has done already at such a young age, he is one of the best."