Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best players on the planet, if not the best, and yet, he willingly admitted having struggled during the EuroBasket, in an always particular FIBA context. According to an expert the reason is simple, he would have rubbed shoulders with the NBA of the 90s.
Even if his national team failed to snag a medal at the last EuroBasket, Giannis Antetokounmpo does not have much to reproach himself for, he who gave everything on the floor. He finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 29.3 average points, in the top 10 rebounders with 8.8 catches per game, and in the top 15 passers. He clearly lived up to his status as the best player on the planet.
Giannis went OFF today in #EuroBasket.
We fire. 🔥pic.twitter.com/XRF620yKBK
— NBA (@NBA) September 6, 2022
FIBA basketball, a copy of the NBA of the 90s?
Moreover, after the competition, the Greek Freak was in a way « justified », by clearly explaining that the game was easier in the NBA than in the FIBA system, a story that we find in all the big stars like Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic. And according to Chris Broussard, who spoke on FoxRadioGiannis would have made the perfect NBA description of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
When we listen to what all the big European stars say, we can draw a simple parallel. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic claimed there was less space on the pitch, do we agree? That the game is less focused on the outside. So they mean there is more body in the racquet. The field is smaller, the 3-point line closer, so everyone is quite compact towards the basket.
This is the complete opposite of what we can see today in the NBA. They also say that the game is much more physical, that you have to think a lot more before making this or that pass. You may think I’m crazy, but you know what they make me think of when they say that? The old NBA. They bring the game to Europe for the league of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
According to Chris Broussard, the game described by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the other great Europeans is in fact the perfect copy of the NBA of the 90s′, which confirms the opinion of many analysts, for whom Michael Jordan evolved in a much less favorable context. 3-point shooting was not so developed at the time, the focus was primarily on the racket, as in Europe. If Giannis considers himself struggling in the FIBA context, he would have struggled too 30 years ago…
Despite the supposed difficulty of the European game, Giannis Antetokounmpo still came close to 30 points per game, all with less playing time than in the NBA, which is to say if he is strong. It remains to be seen if he will do better in the NBA.