Just when you thought Giannis Antetokounmpo had done more than enough to silence his doubters, Gilbert Arenas came in firing from left field. According to the former All-Star, the Greek Freak doesn't really understand the game.
Arenas claimed that Giannis is 'the James Harden of the East' and that his game is just physical and making the most of his athleticism. Ironically, that's the same thing Harden said of Giannis years ago.
Gilbert also believes that Giannis is the very same player he was when he first entered the league, except he's stronger now, and not even an NBA championship, two MVPs, and one DPOY award will make him change his mind.
NBA News: Gilbert Arenas Doubles Down On Giannis Antetokounmpo Criticism
"The media says he's the best player in the league. Not even close, just stop it!" Arenas said last week. "I can look at his game and say he doesn't understand basketball yet. He plays the sport, he won a championship, cool! But he doesn't understand how to be better, how to train his body. To be at the top, you have to train your body at least 38 minutes and above. LeBron played 37 minutes at 37. Allen Iverson was playing 43 minutes."
Arenas faced backlash for his comments on Giannis, so he tried to elaborate his point. He believes that Giannis hasn't gone to great lengths to understand the little things of the game, which is why he can only improve going forward:
"When you say preparation, understanding this game," Arenas explained. "From the in and the outs of it. I'm saying from a guy that didn't have the physical gifts, I had to use my tools; I had to understand the game inside the game. So I had to know refs, refs' names, what rules I can bend, what rule are not bendable. Where the referees stand, so I know what moves I can use that they can't catch. He doesn't understand that part of the game, right now his game is all physical."
"I'm not taking away from him. If you guys have him number one or number two, and he doesn't understand this game yet, that's scary," Arenas added. "Give him Tim Duncan's knowledge, a whole different player isn't he?"
Giannis may not be a basketball savant or a big Xs and Os guy; maybe Arenas is right. But to say that a guy with his résumé doesn't understand basketball is just hating. Giannis knows how to exploit his athleticism and strength, and that also takes intelligence and craft.