Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s also a superhero, and he just destroyed the narrative that he’s not a Batman.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek basketball player who has been in the NBA for a few years now. He’s currently on the Milwaukee Bucks and he’s really good at basketball. There was a narrative that he wasn’t as good as his peers because of his height, but he’s proving that narrative wrong with his play on the court.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 41 points and 13 rebounds in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a thrashing of the Phoenix Suns.
Antetokounmpo’s dominating performance helped the Bucks win their first Finals game since 1974. The five-time All-Star also became just the second player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-point double-double in back-to-back games.
Giannis is one of just two players in NBA history (the other being Shaq) to score 40 points and grab 10 rebounds in back-to-back Finals games. #FearTheDeer @MotorolaUS pic.twitter.com/d22EPWmv9E
12 July 2023 — Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks)
Antetokounmpo silenced unfair criticism from former NBA player Kendrick Perkins by recording back-to-back historic performances. After Game 2, ESPN and NBC Sports Boston commentator Perkins stated (again) that Antetokounmpo was the Bucks’ “Robin,” while teammate Khris Middleton was the “Batman.” Middleton has been dubbed “Batman of the Bucks” by Perkins many times throughout the playoffs due to his propensity to take over games offensively. @KendrickPerkins isn’t backing down from his assertion that Giannis is the Bucks’ “Robin.”
“Others were harmed by his domination in the third quarter. We saw Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton hang around and let Giannis go to work for the whole third quarter!” pic.twitter.com/NuHTmSbExQ
9 July 2023 — Get Up (@GetUpESPN)
Perkins’ blunder came after Antetokounmpo had a 42-point, 12-rebound performance. Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, has long been the face of the Eastern Conference champion Bucks.
That isn’t a knock on Middleton, a two-time All-Star who has been outstanding for the Brewers during their most successful postseason run in almost 50 years. With Antetokounmpo out of the Eastern Conference Finals due to a hyperextended knee, Middleton took over for the Bucks in Games 5 and 6.
While Middleton has been outstanding for most of the playoffs, there is no logical dispute that Antetokounmpo is the team’s sidekick. Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ best player—and, for that matter, the greatest player in the 2023 NBA Finals.
After Game 3, StatMuse even sent a subtweet to Perkins, which perfectly showed Antetokounmpo’s domination.
One week after hyperextending his knee, Giannis says in the Finals:
PPG = 34.3 RPG 14.0 4.7 apg 1.3 apg 1.3 apg 1.3 apg 1.3 apg
62.5 percent FG, 66.0 percent FT, 15.7 percent FTA/G
Imagine if he was the team’s Batman. pic.twitter.com/4vEkjTYPjr
12 July 2023 — StatMuse (@statmuse)
While Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ Batman, Middleton’s role as the club’s sidekick/Robin is still an honor. From 2000 through 2002, Kobe Bryant was the sidekick to Shaquille O’Neal’s Batman as the Los Angeles Lakers won three consecutive championships. After all, O’Neal was the only player to win all three Finals MVP awards and the NBA MVP award in 2000. Bryant’s legacy was not harmed in the least by his status as the Lakers’ second-best player.
Perkins mentioned Shaquille O’Neal while praising Antetokounmpo’s Game 3 performance.
Giannis O’Neal, Giannis O’Neal, Giannis O’Ne Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
July 12, 2023 — Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins)
Perhaps Antetokounmpo’s most recent performance has altered Perkins’ mind about who is really the best player in Milwaukee. Perkins was correct in evoking the O’Neal analogy on Sunday night, as Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player since O’Neal in 2000 to score over 25 points in the paint with 10 second-chance points in the Finals.
Whether or not Perkins has changed his mind, the fact remains that Antetokounmpo is one win away from winning his first NBA championship. On Wednesday night, the Bucks’ Batman will try to lead his team to a series-tying victory.