Bucks’ Drew Intrigued by Antentokounmpo
Giannis (Antentokounmpo) turns 19 on Dec. 16. Young, but not that young. For example, Kansas University’s Andrew Wiggins, the projected No. 1 draft pick in next year’s draft, will turn 19 two months and seven days later. Giannis is years behind American and European teenagers deemed NBA ready, however. He’s been playing basketball for five years. He’s been 6-9 for a few months.
Because of that, though, he’s so – intriguing – as Bucks coach Larry Drew believes. Giannis’ length, juxtaposed with his dexterity, makes him so.
When he toes the free throw line, the way he folds himself as he dribbles and sets, he looks all of his height, limbs everywhere. The circumference of an NBA ball is nearly 30 inches, yet it looks like a softball hidden by his hands.
The expectation is an awkward hoisting of the ball to the rim. Yet his release is rhythmic and rolling, like a player a head shorter.
That’s not all. He glides around the top of the key, without the awkward hitches and unsure ball handling of most players his size. At full gallop, his strides are breezy.
What can be is tantalizing, even for teammates.
“He has a lot of potential, man, a lot of ability, a lot of things you can’t teach as far as length and size and quickness,” Larry Sanders said. “His ability to learn, his ability to be a sponge, to absorb everything he can is really what is going to take him over the edge and make him a great player. He has everything, all the attributes to be a great player.”