Giannis Antetokounmpo is downright unrealistic

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This is the Year of the Greek Freak.

2018 will go down as the year Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo truly arrived as an NBA elite.

Giannis has spent this season lifting his game to heights almost as frightening as the top of his standing reach.

The 23-year-old is straight-up wrecking the league, putting up per-game averages of 27.6 points, 10.3 boards, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. Those are Chris Webber numbers.

He’s played so well that his name is being butchered in households across the country, and despite its difficult pronunciation and Scripps-worthy spelling, he’s easily become one of the most popular players in the NBA.

How popular, you ask?

His jersey is the fourth-best seller in the league this year, trailing only Steph, LeBron and KD.

Magic Johnson gushed over him so hard that the NBA hit him with a $50,000 tampering fine. Bucks fans probably had Lew Alcindor flashbacks.

He’s an All-Star for the second year in a row, and now, at just 23 years old, he’s an MVP candidate (though we don’t have him at No. 1 right now).

But as great as Giannis is, we see one problem with his marketability.

The Greek Freak is so freaky that, well…he’s not relatable.

No seven-footer in the history of basketball has been as boundlessly athletic, as terrifyingly long and well-coordinated. There isn’t anything he can’t do–from knocking down jump shots to starting a fast break, to throwing down a lob after running a 4.3 40 up the court.

As a 6-foot-1 dude with a 0.8″ vertical leap, his athleticism is so foreign and so next-level to me that I feel like I’ve seen into the future, when half of the players are robots and the other half are seven-foot point guards who pull up from midcourt.

Antetokounmpo is so freakish that you literally can’t imagine what it would be like to be him. Like Kevin Durant or Kristaps Porzingis, he’s unrealistically long with an unrealistic jump shot. He’s a glitch in the Matrix–a create-a-player with no attribute or height limits.

If guys like Antetokounmpo were at the Springfield YMCA when James Naismith invented the game, the rims would have been set at 15 feet.

If more guys like him keep showing up in the league, nobody under 6-8 is going to have any hope of competing.

When I was a kid, I idolized shooting guards and small forwards because I knew I probably wasn’t going to grow to be 6-10. I figured if I could follow any path to the league, it’d be a sharpshooting 2-guard. It’s not crazy to dream that you’ll grow to be 6-4.

But back in the day, even the seven-footers were, you know…realistic. If you were a center on your eighth grade travel team back in my day, you probably idolized Shaq. He was monstrous, but his physique and vertical leap weren’t extragalactic.

He wasn’t an Olympic-caliber long jumper with a dunk contest-worthy vert and a sweet J.

Like many of today’s stars, Antetokounmpo is so hopelessly long and athletic that he’s pricing out even 6-6 guys with game.

He’s the future, and it’s scary, to the point where old guys like me turn his prodigiousness into a negative, just so we can justify his existence in our minds.

The only way we can relate—is to each other, eyes bulging as we witness another feat of near-impossible athleticism.

Keep doing your thing, Giannis.

You may be setting the bar way too high for humanity, but at least it’s freakishly fun to watch.

Also see: 

Imagine how good Joel Embiid would be if he was allowed to practice

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