The NBA Substance Report: #3 Out of 30 - Giannis Antetokoumpo


The Substance Report is an official rankings that I thought was necessary to come up with to determine which players throughout the league are most valuable to their team. Each day, for the next week or so, there will be an article dedicated to a single player that demonstrates both his value to the league, but more importantly, the weight on his shoulders on his own team.

An example of the rhetorical questions to ask yourself throughout the readings of the ranking is something along the lines of, "What would the Warriors look like without Stephen Curry? How much worse off would they be as a team? Could they still win an NBA Championship if they just released him to the depths of a fiery hell? Would Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's efficiency go up because they would have more shot opportunities with Steph out of the rotation?" and other important meditations similar to that nature.

This is what the rankings look like so far.

30. Lou "Two Girls and They Get Along Like I'm Lou Will" Williams

29. Domantas "Arvydas's Son" Sabonis

28. Montrezl "Holy Shit That Guy Tries Hard" Harrell

27. Mike "Never Leaving Memphis Because Cash Rules Everything Around Me C.R.E.A.M.!" Conley

26. Klay "Not Just Steph's Sidekick" Thompson

25. Trae "Ugliest Player in the League" Young

24. Ben "Kendall Jenner's Bae / Fresh Prince" Simmons

23. Nikola "Diet Jokic" Vucevic

22. Karl-Anthony "Who Was the Last Good Player With Two First Names?" Towns

21. Blake "Pray My Knees Will Be Okay Come April" Griffin

20. Devin "Should I Just Become a Point Guard?" Booker

19. Anthony "'I'll Tell On You To Rich Paul!' / AD" Davis

18. Russell "I Didn't Know a Professional Could Take Their Job Too Seriously / Why Not?" Westbrook

17. Joel "The Cameroonian Clown / The Process" Embiid

16. Bradley "Will Somebody Please Trade John Wall Already?" Beal

15. Donovan "Still Salty About His 2nd Place Spot In The ROTY Contest / Spida" Mitchell

14. Kemba "Can Do Cool Crossovers But May Never Win A Playoff Series" Walker

13. Luka "Thick and Slick / Halleluka" Dončić

12. Kawhi "Typically Silent, But Mostly Deadly / Klaw" Leonard

11. Kevin "Will Tell You He's Not Going To New York, But He's Probably Going To New York / KD" Durant

10. Stephen "How Does The Greatest Shooter Ever Not Have An Actual Usable Nickname Yet? / Chef" Curry

9. LeBron "Will Trade You In a Heartbeat / King" James

8. Rudy "Frenchman Who Looks Like He Can Lay Some Serious Pipe / The Steiffel Tower" Gobert

7. D'Angelo "Instagram Is My Second Profession / Loading" Russell

6. De'Aaron "Now You See Me, Now You're Admiring My Luscious Hair" Fox

5. Paul "Smoother Than Silk Until The Playoffs / PG-13" George

T-4. Damian "Dame Dolla / Dame Time" Lillard

T-4. Kyrie "Swerving" Irving

3. Giannis "Golf Ball Dunking Lookin' Ass / The Greek Freak" Antetokoumpo

Giannis Antetokoumpo has come a long, long, long way. The length of his journey to the top of the NBA's individual ranks is paralleled by only the length of his own body. His arms, and fingers, make normal humans look like insects. He is the most appealing person in the NBA to stare at, and has taken that ridiculous physicality and transformed it into an unstoppable body-bashing rim threatener.

If you haven't seen TNT's documentary "Finding Giannis" yet, then I highly encourage you to take 22 minutes out of your day and check it out. It's a moving piece that greatly exemplifies just how low the odds were for a Nigerian kid from Greece to become an MVP candidate in the world's best basketball league.