Giannis Antetokounmpo
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James’ decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers opened the title of best player in the Eastern Conference. Brook Lopez believes it belongs to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

During an interview with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype, the veteran center shared his praise for the “Greek Freak.”

“He is without question one of the best players in the league and the best player in the East. I mean, it’s going to be so thrilling to be on the court with him.”

Antetokounmpo, though he’s only 23 years old, is already deserving of that praise.



Last season, he averaged 26.9 points, 10 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. Antetokounmpo earned his second All-Star nod, finished sixth in MVP voting and was second-team All-NBA.

We’re not going to disagree with Lopez’s assessment.

Yes, personal preference could lean toward Kawhi Leonard or Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving or John Wall. But only Leonard is as versatile as Antetokounmpo, and the now-Toronto Raptors forward is working back from a serious injury.

Given the way Antetokounmpo has developed in his five short seasons, it’s easy to see him retaining the “Best in the East” title for at least a half-decade.



Thanks for moving over, LeBron.


David Kenyon
Writer for Sportsnaut and Bleacher Report, mostly covering college football as well as the NFL, NBA and college basketball.