One of the reasons I’m spotlighting Giannis Antetokounmpo is because I love his game, view him as a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard, and have visions of him blossoming this year if Jason Kidd stops doing his best Larry Drew impersonation.
Although he’s starting to fill the stat sheet with regularity, he’s still a highlight waiting to happen and we can’t overlook his overall entertainment value. Case in point: The play last weekend where he covered half the court in one move against the Pistons. Was it a walk? Probably. Did it look badass? You bet your Mokeski it did.
But the real reason is for the betterment of humanity and Giannis himself. Has there ever been an athlete’s name that was more difficult to pronounce? It’s so bad that he was smacked with a nickname (The Alphabet) the second he was drafted because people were too lazy to look up how to say his name.
Even after a whole year in the league no one knows how to say it, players, coaches and announcers included.
So here it is:
You can also hear Antetokounmpo say it the right way, and his teammates say it the wrong way, in this hilarious video.
Never say it wrong again. Especially if you ask someone in your league to trade him to you in person or on the phone.
Here’s some more wing-a-ding-dings:
Gerald Henderson – Why am I so into the idea of Gerald Henderson being good? Could be because his pappy played on some of my favorite Sixers’ squads growing up. Could be because he was the 12th pick in the 2009 draft and his potential just seems so big. This year, he’s been way off the radar, but if you look at his game log, when he gets minutes he produces. He had 18-5-3 on Nov. 17 against Dallas, 15 points and five boards on Nov. 26 against Portland, and 14 points and four assists on Saturday in Atlanta. I’m not saying to run out and grab him. But what I am saying is watch his minutes, and if they stay over 30 for a few games in a row, get out there and scoop him up. Veggie wing.
Gordon Hayward – I’m gonna beat up on the kid some more. The same day last week’s column ran, Gordie plopped a 2-11 for 6 points in a 97-95 home loss against Chicago. In his next game, at Oklahoma City, Hayward dropped 24 but had eight turnovers in a 97-82 beatdown. And in his most recent game, on Saturday, Hayward had his typical blowup game, pouring in 30 points on 11-18 from the field and 4-5 3PT … but the Jazz got crushed at home by the Clippers, 112-96. My book on Hayward right now says this: Very good but wildly inconsistent fantasy producer, not very good for his team in real life. Salt & Malt Wing at Panoony’s Pizza & Wings, Brownsville, Indiana.
James Ennis – Deep league alert! It’s true that his minutes are minimal, but as anyone with a cavernous roster in a league of 16 or more will tell you, minutes are minutes. Aside from some of the meaningful minutes he’s been getting lately, you can also count on ample garbage time given the amount of blowouts in the NBA this year. And we’ll be seeing more of those blowouts in Miami now that Dwyane Wade is back. Wing with Cuban seasonings.
Jeremy Lamb – Why is it that he always craps the bed when he needs to produce to get run (when Russell Westbrook first joined Kevin Durant on IR) but then when it doesn’t matter he goes off (13 and 21 points in his last two games; 6-7 from three-point land in the last two). I could see him blossoming, though, so don’t click him off your Watch List just yet. Wing on someone else’s plate.
Jimmy Butler – Did the Butler do it? Yes he did, especially since we pimped him in last week’s Wing Specials. Starting with his Nov. 24 game at Utah, Jimmy went for 25, 32, 22 and 26. I predicted that the best scenario for him to flourish would be if Pau Gasol played and Derrick Rose sat. But we’re seeing a new wrinkle, where Butler might just be at his scoring best when Gasol plays and Rose plays a secondary, facilitator-type role. Will Rose accept this? Can’t say for sure. Stay tuned. Hot wing served by super-hot Hooters waitress.
Joe Johnson – Here’s J.J.’s last eight games in 10-year-old speak: Turd, decent game, turd, decent game, turd, meh game, decent game, turd. I say wait until he strings together three decent-to-awesome games and sell high. He’s done. Wing that’s been sitting in the fridge for a week and gots ta go.
K.J. McDaniels – How is this guy only 34 percent owned? The hype is for rizzle! Yes, the Sixers blow donkey. Yes, the points won’t be super easy to come by. But as a hustle player on maybe the worst team ever – and one that has no scorer – K.J. will get all the minutes and shots that he wants. He followed up his last strong game off the bench (18 points against Brooklyn) with a 21-13-2 on 2-3 from three-point range in his first game as a starter. Wing wit’.
Shawn Marion – I don’t know what it is, but I really dig dudes who have weird positional eligibility. The OF/C in baseball. The WR/RB in football. And anyone who has any combination of point guard and shooting guard along with one or more forward slots. With a SG/PF/SF designation (which he proudly and arbitrarily earned on Nov. 19), Marion certainly qualifies. As the Cavs starting off guard, he also gets meaningful minutes, but I have to think Yahoo is (finally) right about something this year, and that Cleveland’s clueless coach will finally come to his senses and find another option. Two connected wings, aka a Matrix.
Wesley Johnson – Westbrook is back. Durant is about to be back. So what does that have to do with Wes Johnson? Well, if you had one of the Wings of OKC (Lamb, Anthony Morrow, etc.) on the end of your bench, you can cut them loose, pick up Johnson, and barely miss a beat. He’s been in double digits in two straight games, and you can always count on him for a handful of rebounds and assists along with a few 3PTers, steal or maybe even a block every game. Spare wing.