“He’s the best two-way player on the planet and it’s not even close”
At just 27 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo has already done just about everything an NBA player can do.
He spent less than a decade in the league. However, his list of individual accolades includes being two-time MVP, Most Improved Player winner, Defensive Player of the Year, Finals MVP and six-time All-Star. He also won the championship to boot.
The Milwaukee Bucks star is easily among the best players in the league right now. While many agree he is a generational talent, there are still doubters.
Recently, former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas gave his thoughts on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Arenas didn’t deny the talent of the Greek superstar but believes he still needs to learn the game and needs to play more minutes.
ESPN’s Richard Jefferson responded to Arenas by stating that Antetokounmpo is arguably the best two-way player in the game right now. He said:
“Like my brother, okay, we understand, but let’s talk about wins, let’s talk about the impact on games, let’s talk about intensity, defense, attack. He’s the best two-way player of the planet and it’s not even close, it’s not even close.”
Giannis appeared in 67 games last season and averaged 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.
Is Richard Jefferson Right About Giannis Antetokounmpo being the best two-way player today?
When you look at all the best players in the NBA right now, it’s hard to go against what Jefferson said. There aren’t many players who can match Giannis Antetokounmpo when it comes to impact on both sides of the pitch.
For starters, the Bucks star is one of the most unstoppable forces in the league. Even with his lackluster 3-point shot, defenses weren’t able to slow him to the edge. His combination of size, speed and strength is a rarity in basketball.
The only player who can even come close to Antetokounmpo in this regard is Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid. For the past two years, he, too, has been an almost unstoppable force every night.
While Embiid also has an impact on both sides of the floor, Antetokounmpo holds a marginal advantage due to his versatility. The 76ers big man is an elite-level defender, but most of his damage is around the rim. Meanwhile, the “Greek Freak” can also protect the rim and guard it on the perimeter.
Antetokounmpo’s run has been truly remarkable and he is likely to continue adding to his already incredible list of laurels.