Giannis Antetokounmpo is convinced that Michael Jordan is not the greatest NBA player of all time. According to the Bucks superstar, there has never existed a better basketball legend than LeBron James, an athlete he’s placed as his biggest role model ahead of his career.
When making his decision, the Milwaukee forward doesn’t credit talent only, as consistency is another key element for a successful player. Giannis believes that the Lakers star’s longevity is one of his most impressive qualities.
“Some guys might say he is No. 2, but other guys like me, I say he is No. 1, and he’s still going,” the Greek international told The Athletic‘s Joe Vardon this week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo says LeBron James is the greatest player of all time
“Some guys might say he is No. 2, but other guys like me, I say he is No. 1, and he’s still going,”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) October 23, 2023
The reporter’s question opened up a box full of praise for the veteran superstar, as Antetokounmpo also admires James’ public image. According to the European, LeBron has set a great example for the rest of NBA athletes.
“For 21 years, you never get in trouble, to be able to take in his family, protect this family, raise his kids the right way, you know, be happily married, all those things, it’s perfect,” Giannis said, before admitting that he wants the same exact lifestyle as the Los Angeles forward.
“He’s kind of like setting the blueprint for the rest of us to go forward. That’s what I want. I want to be able to do what I do on the court consistently, be good, be healthy, be available for my team, be able to, you know, raise my family in a bubble away from what I do on the court for them to have a normal life as much as I can. Stay out of trouble.
And hopefully one day, you know, when I’m done from the game of basketball, maybe you mention me? I don’t know. But he sets up the blueprint for all the athletes that enter the NBA to follow,” he concluded.
This Thursday, Milwaukee opened their season with a 118-117 victory over Philadelphia and Damian Lillard impressed everyone, including his Greek co-star. In his Bucks debut, the ex-Portland guard ended the game with 39 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Antetokounmpo dropped 23 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists.
Giannis recently signed a three-year, $186 million contract extension in Milwaukee and set his aim towards this NBA title
A day after agreeing to a three-year, $186 million contract extension, the Greek international spoke to the press about his decision to remain a star for the Bucks, and admitted he didn’t even see the amount of money he was signing in his new contract, as he simply knew what he wanted.
“It was the first time in my NBA career I didn’t know the number of my contract,” Antetokounmpo shared. “I just signed it because I wanted to be here.”
He then further explained why he calls Milwaukee his home and wants to keep investing in the city. “Milwaukee is where I started my career, it’s our home, it’s where we’re raising our family, and it’s where I’m going to continue to work hard every day to make Bucks fans proud,” he expressed.
Finally, he thanked his squad for the inspiration. “To my teammates and coaches, I will always be grateful to you for inspiring me to be my best every day,” said the Bucks forward.