Shaquille O’Neal passes Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo “Superman” nickname in 12-word message
Many have attempted but only Giannis Antetokounmpo has been deemed worthy to take on the mantle of Superman—according to Shaquille O’Neal at least.
Sorry, Dwight Howard.
In his Instagram post, the Hall of Fame center recently bestowed the Milwaukee Bucks superstar with the proverbial keys to his Kryptonian ship, giving up the nickname Shaq has kept to himself for decades.
“[Giannis] is a bad boy. Call him Superman. Just call me Shaq.”
O’Neal brought up a comparison between him and Giannis at the age of 26. The tale of the tape favored Antetokounmpo as he bested Shaq in the assists and steals departments. It was close in other categories, but the reigning Finals MVP’s advantage in terms of Most Valuable Player awards and championship count swayed everything to his side.
It wasn’t included in Shaq’s post but Antetokounmpo also owns a Defensive Player of the Year trophy.
Interestingly, Giannis has been compared by many to O’Neal. He’s not overpowering opponents like the latter did in his heyday, but his dominance inside the paint reminds everyone of the legendary big man. Unfortunately, such parallels also extend to these two superstars’ respective free-throw games.
Giannis still has years of development ahead of him, though. It’s a scary thought considering how good he is at this stage of his career. No one’s giving up on the free throws, too.
After the Bucks’ championship run in 2020-21, the Greek Freak has been adored by many, not only for his skills on the court but also for his loyalty and humility. He’s a rare kind of superstar.