Antetokounmpo: "I'm Not The Best Player In The World...LeBron Still Is"

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA MVP in 2020, and won the NBA Finals MVP in 2021, leading his Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA Championship. But he is convinced that he is definitely not the best player in the world. 

That title, he believes, still belongs to LeBron James.

"I like being a hunter. I am not the best player in the world," said Giannis. "I am telling you, I am not!"

Then he offered a string of other players who, it appears, he considers better than him: "KD, LeBron, Kawhi, Luka, Curry, AD might be. I am not. I am still hunting the All-Time Greats. LeBron is still the best player in the world."

Of course, Giannis said the same thing about one of the others on his list, Kevin Durant, back in June, while facing him in the playoffs:

"He's the best. He's the best player in the world right now. And we gotta beat him as a team. We gotta make him take tough shots... And hopefully he's gonna miss."

Further comments coming out from Giannis today help clarify why he's insisting he's not the best; he's doesn't want to get complacent:

"Don’t call me champ. If you hear only compliments, you relax and this is something I don’t want," said Antetokounmpo. He clarified:

"I can’t be fake. I am Giannis. But calling me MVP, calling me champ, calling me the best player in the world, is something that might hold me back. And I don’t want anything holding me back. I want to look forward and be better"

Giannis also went on to update his hyperextended knee injury he suffered just before the Finals: ""It wasn't a miracle. If you work hard, you don't drink, don't smoke, you work hard for 8-9 years. I shouldn't have played in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I was in a lot of pain. I'm still hurting. But I'll be okay."

Yes, even if he's not "the best player in the world", Giannis Antetokounmpo will be just fine.

Photo Credit: Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports