“They didn’t criticize Shaq because he didn’t shoot threes” - Chris Broussard rips Gilbert Arenas for suggesting Giannis Antetokounmpo is not skilled enough

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Seven
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo recently took a subtle shot from Gilbert Arenas. Although the former NBA player never mentioned “The Greek Freak’s” name, his description largely pointed to the Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time MVP.

Chris Broussard took issue with what he perceived as more slander aimed at Antetokounmpo. On “The Odd Couple” podcast, he ripped Arenas’ comments as nothing more than hate:

“Basketball is not a skills competition … In basketball, it’s about production and winning .. .He’s [Antetokounmpo] not Kevin Durant, he’s not Dirk Nowitzki, he just can’t shoot very well, but he’s got very good skills for a guy his size.
“And when you combine it with his athleticism, his production is off the charts!”

Broussard added:

“At this moment in time, he should be beyond these little petty criticisms. They weren’t criticizing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because he didn’t shoot 18-foot jump shots. They didn’t criticize Shaq because he didn’t shoot threes.
“So, don’t criticize Giannis because he doesn't handle the ball like Kyrie Irving or shoot like Kevin Durant!”

The Greek superstar may not have the most aesthetically pleasing game, but he already has an enviable resume. He has won the MVP award twice, was named the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, an NBA Finals MVP and a multi-time All-Star.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is only 27 years old and is about to hit the prime of his career. Arenas’ argument that Antetokounmpo isn’t elite because he doesn’t play at least 37 minutes a game like LeBron James was laughed at by Broussard.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been averaging only 32.3 MPG since head coach Mike Budenholzer arrived in Milwaukee. Coach “Bud” is the biggest Gregg Popovich disciple and the legendary coach often kept his superstars’ minutes to a minimum.

Broussard gave an example of how Coach “Pop” limited Tim Duncan’s minutes for most of TD’s career. After the 2003-04 season, the San Antonio Spurs played Duncan at only 31.1 MPG. This is close to what Antetokounmpo has been averaging under Budenholzer.

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The Fox Sports analyst capped off his rebuttal of Arenas’ criticism with this:

“I think that it’s incredible how some of these guys aren’t giving him the props he deserves. They gonna eat their words, they already have and they will continue eating their words.”

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Giannis Antetokounmpo could be primed for an even bigger career

Most basketball analysts are firmly convinced that barring any serious injury, Giannis Antetokounmpo could end up as a top 10 all-time great.

Rob Guerra, a Fox Sports producer, recently gave his verdict on how Antetokounmpo’s career could end:

“The way that he’s going, his accolades could theoretically be better than Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal]. And you got people consistently finding ways to say that he’s not that good, he’s not really elite, he’s not of the same class as these other guys.
“He’s not as skilled as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. When it’s all said and done, Giannis is gonna be ranked higher than those guys.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t start basketball at a young age, which could be part of the reason why he doesn’t have the skills of someone like Durant.

Given what he has accomplished despite a game that is still a work in progress, Arenas’ comments were bound to bring him heavy criticism.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman