Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo makes NBA history by reaching 10,000 points, but has bigger goals ahead
The Greek Freak finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Bucks past the Bulls
MILWAUKEE -- In the middle of the fourth quarter on Monday evening, Giannis Antetokounmpo caught a pass on the block and was immediately double teamed by the Bulls' aggressive defense. Staying calm, Giannis bided his time until the second defender left, and then quickly went to work. Putting the ball on the floor, he turned toward the middle and into a little fadeaway jumper that nestled into the net.
It was a nice move but not especially memorable on its own merits, especially considering the Bucks beat the Bulls by 13 points, 111-98. That shot gave Giannis 10,000 career points, however, so even if it wasn't the most spectacular play he's ever had, it's one of the most noteworthy.
"Yeah, he's special," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "So young, so gifted, does so many things on the court. Triple-double tonight -- like I said, they do a lot of things aggressive defensively, you gotta trust the pass, you gotta make some shots. So he's phenomenal to get to 10,000, but I love the way he plays with his teammates and shares it and takes what the game gives him."
Finishing with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, Giannis recorded his fourth triple-double of the season in the win and became the seventh Buck to ever reach 10,000 career points. Even more impressive, though, is that he's just the sixth player in NBA history to reach that milestone and have an MVP Award by the time they were 25 years old.
The others are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Bob McAdoo, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That's three Hall of Famers, two future Hall of Famers and arguably the three greatest players to ever play the game, putting the Greek Freak in rarefied air. Of course, Giannis being Giannis, he's focused on bigger things ahead.
"I got a long way to go, but glory be to God," Giannis said. "Being in this position, I could never imagine myself in the NBA. Now I have 10,000 career points, and I can get to 20,000, I can get to 30,000, it's up to me. But I'm extremely blessed, extremely proud of what I've accomplished, so happy for the people that have helped me. My teammates have helped me, people that in my career have helped me to get to this point. But the job's not done, though, the job's not done. Take a moment to reflect, know what you've came from and what you've accomplished, but at the end of the day, it's 'what's next?' Because we got a long way to go, and gotta keep moving forward."
It's no secret that the answer to "what's next?" is a championship, and as of this point the Bucks are making tremendous progress towards that goal. Monday's win, which was their seventh in a row, moved them to 39-6 on the season and extended their lead in the East to eight games. We'll have to wait until the spring to see what they can do in the playoffs, but with Giannis playing like this, it's no surprise that they're one of the betting favorites.
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