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The NBA has seen few talents quite like Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“The Greek Freak” has injected new life into a Milwaukee Bucks franchise that has had little to cheer about over the last three decades. Antetokounmpo is the team’s first superstar since Ray Allen, and arguably the best Buck since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’s been quite some time since the Bucks have been title contenders; they haven’t won a playoff series since 2001, which gives them the longest active series victory drought in the NBA.
But anything is possible for the Bucks thanks to Antetokounmpo. He’s averaged 27.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game, making him one of the game’s best all-around players. He’s contributed significantly to the Bucks’ best record in eight years, and helped them make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 14 years.
Antetokounmpo has also continued to broaden the NBA’s international sights. A Greek native with Nigerian ancestry, Antetokounmpo offers the NBA a superstar to sell to the globe, and it’s paid off big time for the league—and for the Bucks. Milwaukee was No. 6 in league merchandise sales from October to December of 2017, which put them ahead of big-market NBA cornerstones like the Celtics, Spurs, and Bulls. The Bucks also reported that a majority of their site traffic comes from international sources, giving them perhaps the biggest international sensation since Yao Ming broke in with the Rockets. The NBA is clearly looking to go global, and Antetokounmpo will be a big part of those future plans.
At just 23 years old, it’s not a stretch to call Antetokounmpo an international icon—and he’ll easily be one of the most talked-about players in the NBA playoffs this year. Given how truly monumental the Greek Freak is, here are 15 things you need to know about him.