Knicks refutes Giannis Antetokounmpo’s non-scouting pre-draft claim
He and Rockets star James Harden are neck-and-neck in the league MVP race.
An upcoming TNT documentary on Antetokounmpo will describe the lengthy process that went into scouting and discovering the European star.
But in a preview clip, it was noted that only one NBA team did not scout Antetokounmpo – the New York Knicks.
Every team in the NBA went to Greece to scout Giannis…except the New York Knicks
“Finding Giannis” premieres Saturday at 6:30 ET on TNT pic.twitter.com/fOX4II1v4g
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 14, 2019
Knicks fans were, understandably, unhappy. Antetokounmpo is one of the game’s brightest stars, and fans were frustrated that their team seemingly didn’t even give him a chance.
However, on Thursday evening, Knicks officials rejected this claim. According to Chris Iseman of northjersey.com:
The Knicks said that their European scouts, including Kevin Wilson, did scout Giannis multiple times, disputing the claims made in the TNT documentary.
— Chris Iseman (@ChrisIseman) February 14, 2019
The Knicks could certainly use a star like Antetokounmpo. Entering play on Thursday, New York owned the worst record in all of basketball at 10-47. They had lost a whopping 18 games in a row, their last win coming on January 4 against the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo has been fantastic. The 24-year-old is averaging 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 58.1%. He is leading the NBA in Defensive Rating (97.8) and Win Shares (10.6). The Bucks have Antetokounmpo under contract through the 2020-21 season, after which he will hit free agency.
Antetokounmpo has led the Bucks to the top of the league. At 43-16, they lead the Eastern Conference with the best record in the NBA.
According to ESPN’s BPI Playoff Odds, they have the game’s best chance of winning the championship at 37.5%.