This season has been rough for Milwaukee Bucks fans. First, their new face of the franchise Larry Sanders gets into a bar fight, and then they realize that the team assembled to win the eighth playoff spot was barely good enough to win eight games. There has only been one bright spot this season: rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo has exceeded expectations and brought hope to Milwaukee basketball.
A lot has been already said and written about Antetokounmpo. He dazzles with his passing, dunks and blocks. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, he may not be done growing yet! Is Giannis a franchise player? I think that will depend on your definition. It’s clear he has talent, skillset and the body to excel, but does he possess the X-factor? Does Antetokounmpo have the killer instinct most superstars have?
If he doesn’t have this instinct, this isn’t necessarily a knock; it just makes him a different player. Giannis’ game is already very well-rounded as a rookie averaging around seven points, four rebounds and a pair of assists in less than 25 minutes a game. I see the potential of a Toni Kukoc-type of player — a player who can take over for stretches, but also provides consistency and is a perfect compliment to a superstar (lottery pick?).
Most fans are already all-in with Antetokounmpo. The hope is that he will continue to develop into a multi-dimensional player and lead the young Bucks to a greater place. Really, anywhere but the cellar would be nice. In Giannis we trust.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant