NBA FINALS 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo responds to Michael Jordan comparison

The Milwaukee Bucks forward is having an influence on these finals and had an excellent response to the link to his and the Chicago Bulls legend's record.

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Milwaukee Bucks’ main man Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted that when, a couple of weeks ago, his knee gave way in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Atlanta Hawks, he thought he would not play again in the post-season. And possibly not for the next 12 months. As it’s turned out though, he has not only featured in all three opening games of these NBA Finals 2021, but he is standing out among his peers.

Antetokounmpo not having Jordan comparisons

After gently finding his feet in his comeback game with a 20+17+4 return, he has put together a 42+12+4 and a 41+13+6 record. An average of 34.3 points, 14 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.3 blocks, 61% shooting and a solid (for him anyway) 65% in free throws.

Giannis is giving the Bucks hope after going 2-0 down to the Suns, and is the first player since Shaquille O'Neal to have two Finals games with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, Giannis is only the sixth to do it in back-to-back title games after LeBron James, Jerry West, Rick Barry and one other. That other player is the only one to have scored at least 40 points in four straight games: you may have heard about him, a certain Michael Jordan.

Jordan's four came, interestingly, against Phoenix in 1993, when the Arizona team, with home-court advantage and an MVP in Charles Barkley, lost 2-4 because they couldn't contain a divine Jordan: an average of 41 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The then 23-year-old scored 31 points in the first of the series and 33 in the sixth. In the four in-between he went for 42, 44, 55 and 41 points. And the comparison was too tempting to ignore at the latest press conference after the Bucks halved the deficit.

"I'm not Michael Jordan..." the Greek star repeated several times before a brilliant reaction to the Chicago Bulls’ legend’s feat actually sunk in.

Giannis on staying aggressive

"We knew what type of game it was going to be, we knew that we had to come here, play good basketball, compete as hard as possible and I was just trying to be aggressive," Antetokounmpo said.

"In order for us to be back (in) this series and give ourselves an opportunity to win this game, to win this series, to be champions, we got to bring it," he continued. "We've got to stay aggressive, it's all mental right now."

Game 4 awaits…and, as always, you can follow all the action live with AS English.