Shaquille O’Neal gave Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo his blessing to use his Superman nickname.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo silenced his critics with a historic performance in the 2021 NBA Finals. With the Bucks down 0-2, Antetokounmpo stepped up and helped his team win the next four games to secure the franchise’s first NBA title since 1971. While Antetokounmpo is known as “The Greek Freak,” he may now be known by another nickname.
Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal posted a photo to his Instagram account that compared himself to Antetokounmpo when the two were 26 years old. O’Neal then decreed in his caption that everyone should “call [Giannis] Superman” and to call himself Shaq.
Shaquille O’Neal gives Superman nickname to Giannis Antetokounmpo
As you can see in the graphic posted by O’Neal above, the former Los Angeles Lakers star may have had more All-Star Game appearances by the age of 26, but he never won an MVP award or an NBA title at that point. Antetokounmpo has two league MVPs and a Larry O’Brien trophy to his credit.
Prior to the NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo appeared to be done for the remainder of the playoffs after suffering what appeared to be a serious left knee injury in the Eastern Conference Finals. Yet, imaging revealed no structural damage, allowing him to return in the Finals.
After falling 0-2 to the Suns, Antetokounmpo had some signature moments to add to his career highlight reel. There was the clutch block on Deandre Ayton in Game 4, the game-ending dunk in Game 5 and his 50-point performance in Game 6.
In the NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field.
Antetokoumpo is definitely not Robin, he’s not even Batman. In O’Neal’s eyes, Giannis has solidified himself as the Superman of the NBA.