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The NBA has steadily grown in popularity thanks to the exploits of superstars like the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. Of course there are many other stars too numerous to mention here that have built their own legacies that ensure that the NBA’s future is in good hands for years to come.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ franchise has been nondescript for several generations. Milwaukee is a small market town known for brutally cold winters, beer, and the 1970s sitcom “Laverne and Shirley.” Outside of Milwaukee, you can count on one hand the actual number of Bucks’ fans you know and have enough fingers to make a fist (make that four fingers, considering the author is a Bucks’ fan).
That may change soon enough. The Bucks are currently trending upward in the NBA’s Eastern Conference hierarchy courtesy of star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo, a native of Athens, Greece, possesses a rare blend of size, speed, and agility. At six foot eleven and 222 pounds, Antetokounmpo has the size to grab rebounds and block shots in the paint. He also has the great ball handling skills of a point guard, and can run the fast break just as well. These attributes (as well as his unique last name) have earned him two nicknames: “The Alphabet” and “The Greek Freak”.
Antetokounmpo provides great value to the Bucks. Consider this: during the 2016-2017 season, he became the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, blocks, assists, and steals. At only 22 years of age, Antetokounmpo has a bright future ahead. The Bucks haven’t had a player of this magnitude since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the early 1970s. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the playoffs last season, and he’s averaging 35 points per game during the first five games of the 2017-2018 season.
While not impossible, it’s highly unlikely that “The Alphabet” will sustain his current scoring pace. Antetokounmpo’s all around play will help the Bucks remain a dangerous opponent for this season and beyond.