Knicks nearly signed Bucks superstar’s brother

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The New York Knicks were tantalizingly close to inking a deal with an Antetokounmpo this offseason, but it wasn’t the league MVP Giannis. The player in question was Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older sibling to the Bucks superstar, who has been playing in Milwaukee since 2019. In a recent tell-all interview with BasketNews, Thanasis opened up about the Knicks’ strong interest in him during the free-agency period.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s Free-Agency Mindset

When asked about his thought process in free agency, Thanasis candidly expressed:

“Obviously, Giannis is my brother, and obviously, I love Milwaukee. I love Milwaukee,” Thanasis said. “But at the same time… I want to play. You always want to play and feel important. And at the same time, you want, like… It’s just because of how I am as a player. That would be different if I were in Europe and any other team. But now it became a little bit more like, ‘oh, okay, he’s on the team because’… But I was like: ‘you know what? No. Why would I do this?’”

Bucks Over Knicks: A Loyalty Choice

Ultimately, Thanasis decided to renew his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, signing a one-year, $2 million deal. This move keeps him in a franchise that he won an NBA championship with back in 2021.

The Knicks and Thanasis: A Story That Almost Was

Interestingly enough, Thanasis is no stranger to the Knicks organization. He was picked by New York in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft and made his league debut with them two years later. After that, he went on to play overseas for three years before reuniting with his MVP brother in Milwaukee.

Comparing the Antetokounmpo Brothers: A Tale of Two Careers

In terms of career stats, Thanasis’ numbers are nowhere near Giannis’. Over his professional career, he has averaged just over eight minutes per game and a mere two points per game. Now 31, it’s tough to envision Thanasis seizing a significant role on any NBA team.

Knicks’ Game Plan: More Than Just Numbers

However, the Knicks’ interest in him likely wasn’t about the stats. Given his relation to Giannis, one of the game’s top talents, it’s plausible that New York saw value in bringing in a player who could serve as a vocal locker-room presence and infuse the squad with a championship pedigree.

No Change of Scenery for Thanasis

For those Knicks fans hoping for a new Antetokounmpo chapter in New York, that ship has sailed—at least for now. Thanasis has chosen to stay put, leaving Knicks aficionados to wonder what might have been.

Follow this writer on X/Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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