The modern NBA game has certainly evolved since the days that hulking giants roamed the paint. With the game moving further and further away from the paint, the emphasis has become on outside scoring. But someone forgot to tell Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Greek Freak turned back the clock in a huge way, posting a stat line that looks absolutely unconventional in today’s NBA. The Bucks franchise player notched 40 points and 15 rebounds, to go along with five assists for good measure. All while shooting an absurd 14-for-18 from the field — good for a 77.8% shooting clip.
That production from the Bucks superstar was an absolute throwback, going all the way back to Charles Barkley’s early days with the Philadelphia 76ers 33 years ago to find the last instance of such a feat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player with 40 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 75% shooting in a game since Charles Barkley in 1988. pic.twitter.com/AqdaPkqgdI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 14, 2021
But as much as the game has moved to the perimeter thanks to guys like Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry and Brooklyn Nets point guard James Harden, there has been a small resurgence in the production of old. The big man has made a comeback, albeit in the modern-day sense. Along with Giannis, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid have brought the center back in vogue. New Orleans Pelicans bruising point forward Zion Williamson looks like the reincarnation of Charles Barkley in some ways as well.
The game we love is continuously evolving. The Bucks star is just one of many who’s changing the game once more with his insane numbers and freaky style of play. We’re lucky we can just sit back and watch these athletic marvels carry the torch to a new era.