Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t get a championship in 2018, but they’re still one of the face’s of success for this era. Giannis has been their savior on both offense and defense, leading to his MVP candidacy through out most of this playoffs run. With such an incredible story behind him – including his failed attempt at IVs during Game 5 against the Raptors – he deserves some recognition for being so great

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player who has been playing for the Milwaukee Bucks since 2013. In the 2018 NBA Finals, Giannis was one of the best players in the series and brought home an NBA championship title. His story about “throwing up five times” made his performance even more epic.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did not deliver the Milwaukee Bucks a title on his own. Jrue Holiday established the defensive tone. Throughout the playoffs, Khris Middleton made clutch shots. When it came down to it, though, it was The Greek Freak who seized command, and he did it in incredible ways. (These aren’t exaggerations; they’re methods that appear difficult to accept.)

On the surface, it manifested itself in a spectacular recovery block on Deandre Ayton. Or a Game 6 closeout of 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Milwaukee for the first time in 50 years.

Things become even more difficult to fathom behind the scenes, and the Finals MVP’s performance seems even more unbelievable.

In 1997, Michael Jordan had his flu game. In 2021, Giannis got his own version.

During the 2021 NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo placed the Milwaukee Bucks on his back.

In the 2021 Finals, Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks win their first title in almost a half-century, as he led Milwaukee to a six-game victory against the Phoenix Suns.

In appreciation of his domination, he was named Finals MVP.

The 26-year-old was the series’ top scorer (35.2 points per game), rebounder (13.2), blocker (1.8), and field-goal percentage (50%) player (61.8). That last figure only includes players who attempted more than 2.3 times each game on average. Giannis averaged 20.5 points per game.

During the series, only Devin Booker (23.8) and Middleton (20.8) averaged more attempts. Booker had a 45.5 percent success rate, while Middleton had a 44.8 percent success rate. Antetokounmpo shot 61.8 percent on a same number of attempts.

Phoenix led the series 2-0. In Game 3, the two-time MVP led the Bucks to a 20-point victory with 41 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. If Milwaukee loses that game – in Phoenix — and falls down 3-0, the Suns will almost certainly win the NBA title.

Instead, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to four consecutive victories, won the championship, and established himself as a legend.

However, peeling back the curtain on the series’ last few games exposes nuances that only add to Giannis’ legend.

Antetokoumpo’s already-historic performance is made even more astounding by the behind-the-scenes account of his physical fatigue.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks takes a break during a game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks takes a break during a game. During a game against the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo takes a rest from the bench. | Getty Images/John Fisher

In Game 3, the five-time All-Star got his chance. In Game 4, Middleton had his own 40-point game, but Giannis had just 26, 14, and 8, with three thefts and two blocks (including the block on Ayton, which is one of the most iconic finals moments in history).

Antetokounmpo had 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in Game 5, as well as another famous performance.

In the waning minutes, Holiday snatched the ball from Booker and sent Giannis, who stands 6-foot-11 and weighs 242 pounds, rushing up the court. Holding on to the ball, backing it out, and wasting time was the safe option. Instead, his MVP partner gestured to the sky, prompting Holiday to lob it up, where Antetokounmpo hammered it home to secure the victory.

The on-court hero status had already been established after those two plays. But it was after Game 5 that things took a turn for the better.

As Zach Baron of GQ put it:

He began to cramp, his lips became crimson, and his hands turned white. He recalls saying, “I’m nude, and all I have is my towel,” while laying on the trainer’s table. “Can you give me that garbage can?” I inquire. “Three times throw up.” They gave him an IV since he was so dehydrated that finding a vein took 45 minutes. He then returned to the hotel to get a second one. This occurred after Game 6, and he said that he need an IV.

During the NBA Finals, GQ’s Zach Baron interviewed Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Mike’s flu situation has been well-documented. It contributed to the Jordan Mythos. It will serve the same role for The Greek Freak given that we know the lengths to which Giannis went to achieve his crown.

Antetokounmpo’s tenacity rivals that of the all-time greats.

There are only a few other NBA superstars who could have put in that kind of effort. Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, and Russell are some of the best basketball players in the world. There are a few more.

Then there’s Giannis.

This is what Antetokounmpo went through when the Bucks were down 2-0.

37.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.0 steals in 40.9 minutes per game in the last four games of the series. On a 61.1 percent shooting percentage. During that time, he also shot 13.8 percent of his free throws.

Antetokounmpo has struggled at the free throw line during the playoffs. In Game 6, he was 17-of-19.

The eventual Hall of Famer now has the task of winning another one.

If the past is any indicator, Giannis will give it all he’s got. Without a doubt.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

Giannis Antetokounmpo once slammed Ben Simmons and then slammed him again by calling him a ‘F****** Baby.’

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has been making waves in the NBA playoffs with his incredible story about impossible IVs and ‘(throwing) up five times.’ His latest performance, which included a block on LeBron James, made him look even more epic. Reference: giannis block photo.

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