Giannis Antetokounmpo: Ranking the FMVP among NBA’s best players

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 19 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 19 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 31 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rise to stardom with the Milwaukee Bucks has been far from the most conventional path compared to other stars.

The Greek Freak was drafted into the league by the Bucks in the middle of the first round in the 2013 NBA Draft, with most teams not willing to take the risk on him. After all, he was largely an unknown prospect from Greece at the time that was viewed as a long-term project. Seeing where he was then to what he has become over these past eight years has been captivating to watch as a Bucks fan, especially this past season as they finally got over the postseason hump. Following a historically great playoff run, here is where Antetokounmpo ranks among the five best players in the NBA today.

Ranking Giannis Antetokounmpo among NBA’s best players: No. 5 – Nikola Jokic

Despite winning the 2020-21 NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic’s stellar season somehow flew under the radar. The big man averaged 26.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game while leading the Denver Nuggets to the third seed in the Western Conference. Any hope of a deep playoff run was derailed after second-fiddle Jamal Murray went down with a torn ACL, but Jokic still helped this team advance to the second round to face the eventual conference champion Phoenix Suns.

For whatever reason, Jokic is somewhat disrespected in today’s NBA. Perhaps it is similar to the problems Antetokounmpo faced prior to this season, where he was countlessly criticized due to his previous postseason failures. Jokic has had some success to the postseason, such as a trip to the Western Conference Finals just a year ago, but he might not get his proper due until he leads this team to the NBA Finals, which might come sooner than some anticipate. When this team is fully healthy, they are certainly dangerous, and the reigning league MVP is still improving.

After the sensational year that he just had, Jokic is undeniably a top-five player in this league. Not only can he score the ball on all three levels, but he is undoubtedly the best passing big man in the league right now and arguably one of the greatest of all time. There are not too many players right now that could replicate what he brings to the table. If he can piece together another solid season next year, he could perhaps jump a few slots higher and finally get his well-deserved respect from the NBA fandom.