Steph reacts to Giannis calling him NBA’s best player originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Giannis Antetokounmpo made headlines around the NBA on Sunday by declaring Warriors superstar Steph Curry the NBA’s best player.
Curry didn’t hear about Antetokounmpo’s compliment until he spoke with reporters at Warriors Media Day on Sunday.
“Thanks for telling me that,” Curry said to reporters with a smile. “Thank you, Giannis.”
The reasoning behind Antetokounmpo dubbing Curry as the best player in the world? It’s because Curry led the Warriors to his fourth career NBA championship in June. In Antetokounmpo’s mind, whoever enters the offseason on top should wear the crown.
That take contradicted ESPN’s annual list of the top-100 NBA players, which ranked Antetokounmpo as the best in basketball.
Curry agreed with Antetokounmpo’s thought process.
“I would say the same thing when you’re facing the champions,” Curry said. “That’s part of like the nature of the league. We all want to win the championship, and when you look at the team that’s the last team standing and who was playing the best — I was thinking the same thing about him last year, coming off their run.”
With the Bucks facing a two-games-to-none deficit in the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, Antetokounmpo steered the Bucks to four straight wins to claim their second title in franchise history. He dropped 50 points in a historic Game 6 to silence doubters and cross off an accomplishment that can elude even the greatest talents in the game — a championship ring.
Curry and Antetokounmpo have relayed compliments to each other in the past. The two stars have been All-Star teammates the past two seasons, and Antetokounmpo wanted to make sure Curry won the All-Star Game MVP trophy in February.
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But don’t expect Curry to get too friendly with Antetokounmpo when the Warriors battle the Bucks twice this upcoming season.
“So, I appreciate the compliment,” Curry said. “It’s not going to soften me up to get complacent at all. But you do appreciate the respect of your peers to say stuff like that, and I’ve been in the situation where I’m complimenting guys around the league a lot as well.”