Knicks Almost Had An Antetokounmpo Reunion

Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers are very close. The Milwaukee Bucks have made sure to keep him happy in recent seasons by having older brother Thanasis on the team for the past four years. 

But Thanasis has averaged just eight minutes per game in his time in Milwaukee, and he's craving more playing time. He explains in a report in EuroBasket, that he almost took his talents back to the New York Knicks this summer (he spent two games there back in the 2015-16 season). 

Obviously, Giannis is my brother, and obviously, I love Milwaukee. I love Milwaukee. But at the same time … I want to play. You always want to play and feel important … It’s just because of how I am as a player. That would be different if I were in Europe and any other team. But now it became a little bit more like, 'oh, okay, he’s on the team because (Giannis is there)' … But I was like: you know what? No. Why would I do this?

In other words, family ties won out for the Antetokounmpo clan. In addition, he liked what new Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin had in mind for him. 

"I sat down with the new coach and talked with him. He said he appreciates the way I play, he values my game. You know, every coach has a different opinion of everybody. But when I picked the teams, hearing the coach and everything, I thought this was the place for me."

The 31-year-old oldest of the brothers has seen his PT dwindle in Milwaukee over the years, and he appeared in just 37 games last season and averaged 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 5.6 minutes per night. 

The Knicks are actually the team that originally drafted Thanasis, with the 51st overall pick in the 2nd round, back in 2015. He only played in two games with them, however. 

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports