Defending champion Giannis Antetokounmpo bought Milwaukee Bucks their first title since 1971. During the run, he took another step to cement his status as one of the best players in today’s game, including a 50-point masterpiece in the clinching Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns. In the six-game series, he averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 blocks—playoff averages that nostalgic Laker fans reminisce with Shaquille O’Neal during the early aughts.
Usually, when a star posts these monstrous numbers in the process of winning a championship, they would confidently tell the world they are the best player in the world. Well, not the Greek Freak. Always the humble guy, he recently told COSMOTE TV (translated by EuroHoops.net) how he does not consider himself the best.
“I like being a hunter. I am not the best player in the world. I am telling you, I am not! KD [Kevin Durant], LeBron, Kawhi [Leonard], Luka [Doncic], [Steph] Curry, AD [Anthony Davis] might be. I am not. I am still hunting the All-Time Greats. LeBron is still the best player in the world."
Antetokounmpo is definitely selling himself short. He easily should be considered a top-3 player in the league today, whether he admits it or not. His unique ability to carry his team without a consistent jump shot in today’s perimeter heavy league is incredible, and that in itself makes him a unicorn.
Over the past decade, James has always managed to shut the naysayers up, whenever there was any inkling of doubt if he was the best player. He managed to make it to the NBA Finals eight consecutive years—four with Miami, four with Cleveland. Just the ability to stay healthy and manage to lead teams to the Finals year in and year out is an accomplishment in itself. How does one manage to stay in elite form for over a decade and a half?
Even at James age, it is difficult to count him out as the best player. Obviously, he is not 28, and has to pick his spots more carefully to dominant, but do not be fooled. At any time on the court, he can still turn on turbo mode, and be the best player. Don't forget, prior to his ankle injury last season, he was in the discussion for MVP.
Do you agree, is LeBron James, at his current age of 36, still considered the best player in today’s game?