As part of my initiative to freshen up the blog more often, periodically this summer I’ll use this space to highlight some of the most interesting NBA-related Twitter accounts. To avoid reheating old material or discussing the obvious — Blake Griffin has a quirky, robust sense of humor; Kobe Bryant has a hilariously monolith ego — I’ll try to step off the beaten path to uncover some hidden gems whenever I can.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Delaware 87ers
Last season rookie Milwaukee Bucks guard and universally acknowledged precious angel Giannis Antetokounmpo won over talent evaluators and moms everywhere with his precocious game and wide-eyed innocence. A Greek kid of Nigerian descent, he was drafted at age 18 to enter the league as its youngest player. Unsullied by the AAU meat market and American basketball sausage-making machine, he arrived in Milwaukee and immediately started doing lovably un-NBA-like stuff. Everyone adores Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Until a few days ago, I didn’t know that Giannis had an older brother who plays pro ball, let alone one who last season played in the D-League and is now being considered by NBA teams as a potential pick in tonight’s draft. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who turns 22 next month, isn’t generally believed to be the font of untapped potential that his brother (nicknamed “The Greek Freak”) appears to be, but who knows? With a long, 6-foot-7 build and a developing shot, maybe he’ll pan out as the sort of 3-and-D wing that NBA teams covet in today’s game.
More important to this discussion, though: What sort of a cat are we dealing with here in Thanasis? Is he, as Giannis’ older brother, the more hardened of the two — a world-weary brooder, perhaps, or possibly a spiteful sibling, upset that his kid bro hit it big while he kicked around U.S. basketball’s minor leagues?
Of course, maybe he’s just another Antetokounmpo sweetheart. You decide:
Yup, that’s Thanasis’ Twitter profile photo — maybe the cheesiest, most wonderful pic in the NBA social media universe. Even better, Thanasis doesn’t have a whole lot to say on Twitter, but guess who can’t stop talking about him? Right. And then Thanasis happily (we can only assume) retweets all the gushing 140-characters-or-less remarks that Giannis pens or passes along about his older sib. Apparently, the Antetokounmpo boys are the brothers you’d want your sons to be.
Now we just need the Bucks to do the right thing and bring Thanasis to Milwaukee. it’s too good a story. In fact, Adam Silver, make this happen: Whether it means issuing the franchise a discretionary supplemental draft pick or threatening sanctions if the Bucks don’t bypass Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker to select Thanasis at No. 2, I don’t care. Figure it out. Leave nothing to chance.