Giannis Antetokounmpo has earned many comparisons in recent times thanks to his incredible performances on the court. The Greek player has taken the league by storm, winning several awards in the process.
Last week, he became an NBA champion for the first time in his career, practically securing his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. Giannis is only 26, and his career can only get better from this point.
In the past, he's been compared to Michael Jordan. Still, most people believe a comparison to Hakeem Olajuwon is more accurate. Kenny Smith, a former teammate of Olajuwon, thinks the same. The former point guard won two championships with 'The Dream,' and he knows him very well.
In a recent interview with Bill Simmons, the former player-turned-analyst commented on the similarities between the 2x NBA MVP and his former teammate. 'The Jet' explained how similar Antetokounmpo and Olajuwon are in terms of defense and offense (7:21).
“When you talk about Hakeem, you always say he’s relentless. He will go help on defense, run back on and block a shot.”
“If Hakeem was having an offensive night, he’d have 10 offensive rebounds. He could dominate the game on the offensive glass, namely three other superstars that could do that (including Giannis)…Because they [Hakeem and Giannis] can shot block, you could be a great driver and can’t score. He [Giannis] can defend you in so many different ways.”
Giannis became the third NBA player to win the MVP and DPOY in the same campaign, emulating what MJ and Kareem did in the 90s. The Greek Freak is just starting his legend in the association, and his resumé is already impressive.
After this season, he's considered the best player in the world by many. Perhaps it's a long shot now, but Giannis has the potential to finish his career as a top-5 player of all time, at least surpassing Hakeem on the unofficial all-time list.