Giannis treads lightly while talking about Kobe but says they’re very similar when it comes to mindset

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are just a day away from starting their 2022-23 NBA campaign.

Antetokounmpo fell short in his defense of his 2021 NBA championship, and he is likely even more determined to get a second ring this season because of that fact. However, it is not as though the two-time MVP needs additional motivation to push himself.

In a recent conversation with Eric Nehm of The Athletic, he spoke about how his mindset compares to that of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

“I will never say this, I will never disrespect the name of the great Kobe. I don’t like mentioning him,” Antetokounmpo said when asked to compare their mentalities. “I feel like he should be mentioned, should never be forgotten. But I don’t like mentioning his name to bring attention to the conversation that we are about to have. I wasn’t close to him. I wasn’t this with him or that with him. But I would say this, in some areas of his mindset, I think we’re very similar.”

It’s clear that Antetokounmpo has an incredible level of respect for the Hall of Famer. Since Bryant’s passing, countless NBA players and athletes in other sports have spoken about Bryant with an almost religious reverence.

Bryant’s competitive spirit and drive to get better remain legendary today. Antetokounmpo is wise to apparently use him as a lodestar when it comes to that aspect of his game.

Though his mentality may be similar to Bryant’s, Antetokounmpo has a style of play that is quite different. In fact, Antetokounmpo has gained more comparisons to Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

Like O’Neal, Antetokounmpo dominates players in the paint on both sides of the court. He uses his size, strength and athletic ability to overpower even the best players in the league.

In the 2021 NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo became just the second player to record at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back Finals games. O’Neal was the first.

Antetokounmpo does have the ability to knock down 3-pointers, which was never a part of O’Neal’s game.

The Bucks superstar has made 30.0 percent of his shots from deep over the past three seasons. If Antetokounmpo can take that aspect of his game to the next level this season and show even more consistency as a shooter, his Bucks will be hard to stop.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.