Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t believe he should be considered the best player in the world, telling reporters at Milwaukee’s media day that he believes Steph Curry holds the title.
The Milwaukee Bucks big man shared some big praise for the Golden State Warriors star, saying that he considers Curry to be the NBA’s best player. Antetokounmpo said he looked up to Curry and the Warriors last season, using their title run as motivation for his own team in the coming season.
Giannis Shares Praise for Curry
Antetokounmpo earned the top spoke on ESPN’s NBArank, but didn’t agree with his placement. Speaking to reporters at Milwaukee’s media day, Antetokounmpo said he believes that Curry has earned the title of “best player in the world” since it was his team that reached the NBA pinnacle last season.
“Do I believe I’m the best player in the world? No,” Antetokounmpo said, via SFGate.com. “I believe the best player in the world is Steph Curry until the next player.”
The Bucks star went on to explain why only the NBA Finals champion can truly be the best player.
“I think the best player in the world is the person that is the last man standing,” Antetokounmpo said, via ESPN’s Jamal Collier. “It’s the person that takes his team to the Finals, the finish line and helps them win the game. … that’s how I view it. I believe the best player in the world is Steph Curry.”
Antetokounmpo said he could have earned the title after leading the Bucks to the title in 2021, but Milwaukee fell short in their title defense. The Bucks ultimately lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs this season, who went on to lose to Curry’s Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Curry Responds to Giannis’ Praise
Speaking to reporters at Golden State’s own media day on September 25, Curry said he agreed with the sentiment and believed that Antetokounmpo was the best player in the world coming off Milwaukee’s title.
“I would say the same thing when you’re facing the champions,” Curry said. “That’s part of like the nature of the league. We all want to win the championship, and when you look at the team that’s the last team standing and who was playing the best, I was thinking the same thing about him last year, coming off their run.”
The latest title is seen as one of the most important for Curry’s legacy, as he guided the Warriors back from the basement of the league in the 2019-20 season when he missed close to the entire season with an injury. Curry also set aside any lingering doubts over whether he or Kevin Durant deserved more credit for Golden State’s dynasty, as he won a second title without the former league MVP on the roster.
In a recent interview with Ashley Nicole Moss of Sports Illustrated, Curry said this year’s championship was the most important one to him.
“The first one, you don’t really know what you’re doing until you accomplish it, and then you’re celebrating,” Curry said. “The next two were kind of validation, trying to remain champions. But after these last three years and winning that one, definitely the most special.”