Giannis Antetokounmpo has accomplished so much in his first eight seasons in the NBA, and there is still so much more to come at just 26 years old. Antetokounmpo is already in elite company in NBA history, and former NBA player Richard Jefferson makes the claims the only way left to measure his greatness is by the number of championships he wins.
Antetokounmpo really has won just about every award possible from an NBA player from MVPs, Defense Player of the Year, and Most Improved Player of the Year.
On top of that, he has five NBA All-Star appearances and five-time All-NBA awards. Last season he won his first NBA Championship, dropping 50 points in the closeout game six, on his way to a Finals MVP trophy.
The truth is, so early in his career, Antetokounmpo is already one of the best players in the league. To reach a new level on the all-time NBA list, it will be up to his championships. That’s the point that Richard Jefferson made on ESPN when he said,
“This is the unfairness of greatness… He [Giannis Antetokounmpo] will be judged on this day forward on how many championships he wins. That’s it. Very similar to LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson. He is one of the greats, and he will continue to be one of the greats.”
Richardson is spot on with this take. It is tremendously hard to win an NBA Finals as the leading man on a team, but to do it more than once is what makes an all-time great NBA player.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has the skill to do that and could even get better with an improved jump shot. On top of that, time is on his side, as he is just starting to get into his prime.
How many NBA rings could Giannis Antetokounmpo retire with?
The Milwaukee Bucks have built a fantastic team around Giannis Antetokounmpo, surrounding him with shooting and defenders. The team is perfectly built around him, and having signed him up till at least 2024-25, the Bucks could win another title before then.
Even though Antetokounmpo’s two main co-stars, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, are 30 and 31 years old, they still have a few good years left in them. Plus, with Antetokounmpo still so young for his accolades, he could carry the team no matter what.
However, the Bucks organization has shown a desire to create a winning environment around Antetokounmpo by trading a massive package to the New Orleans Pelicans for Holiday. Even as the rest of the team around Antetokounmpo gets older, the Bucks front office could find ways to bring in talent to keep the Bucks in the winning window.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, of course, have challengers all over the NBA, and continually getting through those challengers would be important. The Bucks had some luck helping them get to the NBA Finals and win, and that could happen again, but it is a little less likely that all the pieces will fall right into place.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo will eventually go down as one of the all-time greats in NBA history – based on what he has done already. Before he retires, he should defiantly win at least one more ring, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he retired with three or more NBA Championships under his belt.