Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is not backing down on his claim that Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo still “doesn’t understand basketball yet.” In fact, he doubled down on that belief and explained his reasoning for the rather bold take.
On Friday, Arenas went viral after he downplayed Antetokounmpo’s championship run with the Bucks and the overall improvement he has made throughout his career. The 40-year-old said that Giannis doesn’t know how to “train his body” and “be better,” using playing time as his argument.
“He plays the sport, he won a championship, cool! He doesn’t really understand how to be great, how to be better, how to train his body. … To be here, you have to train your body at least 38 minutes and above. LeBron played 37 minutes at 37. Allen Iverson was playing 43 minutes,” Arenas explained.
Who is Gilbert Arenas talking about here? 🤔
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 27, 2022
Of course Gilbert Arenas received a ton of backlash for the remarks. First and foremost, the playing time argument was ridiculous since Giannis Antetokounmpo was playing around 36 minutes per game under head coach Jason Kidd. His minutes only dropped when Mike Budenholzer took over, but it was more of a strategic decision rather than ability.
The Bucks have been consistent title contenders as a result, and it is worth noting that Antetokounmpo got his two MVP awards and Defensive Player of the Year honor in the past for years alone when he’s averaging 30 to 33 minutes peer outing.
Despite that, however, Arenas defended his take and even took to Instagram to say how Giannis didn’t really add a new skill to his arsenal. For him, the Greek Freak simply got stronger and wiser, but not really better in basketball.
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“Has he added any new skill to his game? Has his 3% gotten better (nope) has his mid range gotten better (nope) has his free-throws % gotten better (nope) has his back to the basketball play gotten better (nope),” Arenas wrote. “He’s gotten stronger, his ability to take bumps and finish has gotten better which helps his over all shooting %. [But] the same flaws he walked into the game with he still has now, which is why I said he needs to learn the game more to understand how to improve his overall game,” Arenas wrote.
Now we’re not sure where Gilbert Arenas got his stats, but we’re pretty sure Giannis improved his overall free throw shooting and has slowly added 3-point and mid-range shooting to his game. Sure, he is using his bully ball play more, but that is only taking advantage of your strengths. Arenas cited LeBron in his previous remarks to emphasize the difference between him and Giannis, but he might have forgotten to mention that even James still struggles to shoot his free throws.
Arenas does make some great points about Giannis needing to improve his overall game, but he might be exaggerating too much when he said the Bucks star don’t understand basketball just yet. The numbers and receipts are all over the internet on how the Greek Freak has become a better player. It’s also worth mentioning he is just 27 but has already won championships and earned accolades that some took more than a decade to get.