Giannis Antetokounmpo is the nicest player in the entire NBA. There is not a single person that can deny that. We’ve seen him praise other teammates on countless occasions, things we’d not see most stars do. And he doesn’t do it in a way to recruit players but just because of the NBA fan within him.
During the All-Star weekend, we saw the 75 greatest NBA players of all time, all under one roof. This gave us countless memorable exchanges. One of them came between Giannis and Allen Iverson.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is an Allen Iverson fanboy
Allen Iverson was a very influential player. His flashy play would make any person a fan of the NBA. Also, his MVP level season and push to the NBA finals will always be regarded as one of the greatest NBA moments of this century.
Giannis Antetokounmpo grew up in Greece where the opportunities to watch the NBA were limited as he did not have cable TV. However, AI was global and it got to Giannis as well. Antetokounmpo would go to an Internet cafe to watch Iverson highlights. This is what Giannis said to AI.
“I watched your story. I watched the documentary. You said “I play basketball because of MJ”. I started playing basketball because of you.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 1, 2022
This is something Giannis has been telling the world for years now. In an interview in 2019, Giannis said that he would watch a lot of AI highlights. It inspired Giannis to get cornrows and would practice the AI crossover anytime he’d play.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 16, 2019
We do see a bit of AI in Giannis’s game. Giannis is a big man with the handles and mobility of a guard. That would only be real if he worked on his game and tailored it around a guard like AI. Giannis also won MVP awards for the team he was drafted in and carried his team to be successful like AI did with the 76ers.
This moment was truly just a fanboy and dream come true moment for Giannis. Allen Iverson is one of the few former players that truly gives the current NBA the respect it deserves and that’s what makes the moment to a whole another level.