What exactly did Giannis Antetokounmpo say about Steph Curry and what did Warriors star say in response?
The two NBA stars traded compliments on Sunday, but the question as to who is the best between them still seems unanswered.
A former league MVP and a two-time NBA champion. If the ‘Greek Freak’ thinks Steph Curry is the best in the world, then it’s an opinion probably worth listening to.
Giannis calls Steph Curry the best in the world
You’ve got to respect, when a player who many consider to be the best of his generation, can tip his hat to a fellow baller. Speaking on Sunday, about his No. 1 rank on CBS Sports’ annual NBA Top 100 list, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo had a rather different take on who the best is. Indeed, while it’s typical of a player to downplay his own value, it’s not so normal that he’d go on to actually name who he thinks No. 1 should be. Yet, that’s exactly what the former MVP did when he named a certain Warriors’ point guard as the top player in the league.
“Do I believe that I’m one of the best players in the league in the way I help my team be great and win games? “Yeah, I do,” Giannis said. “I’m mature enough, I’m old enough to understand that. Do I believe I’m the best in the world? No. I think the best player in the world is the person that is the last one standing, the person that takes his team to the finish line and helps them win games and become champion. ...Two years ago, when we did that, yeah, when I was sleeping in my bed I was like ‘Ah yeah, maybe I’m the best player in the world.’ But now, no. In my opinion, the way I view it, the winner is the best. The guy who wins is the best... I believe that the best player in the world is Steph Curry until the next player.”
What did Steph Curry say in response?
As fate would have it, the Warriors also had a media day on Sunday and of course, the man himself was asked about Giannis’ comments. Needless to say, his answer was equally as diplomatic.
“I don’t know if it was gamesmanship to set the table for - I would say the same thing when you’re facing the champions,” Curry said. “That’s part of like the nature of the league. We all want to win the championship, and when you look at the team that’s the last team standing and who was playing the best, I was thinking the same thing about him last year, coming off their run. ...So, I appreciate the compliment. It’s not going to soften me up to get complacent at all. But you do appreciate the respect of your peers to say stuff like that, and I’ve been in the situation where I’m complimenting guys around the league a lot as well.”
Rhetoric aside, let’s give it up for Giannis
Though his point about Curry is absolutely valid, there are a few things we need to mention. Firstly, Giannis averaged 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game last season. Then there’s history. Antetokounmpo stands alone as the only player to average at least 29 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and one block, and he’s done that twice in his career.
The Bucks and the league know all too well the near super human strength and agility that he possesses and that’s before we consider his drive to improve. Though we can’t dismiss Curry’s claim to the throne, we might just have to call this one a tie.