HoopsHype Thanasis Antetokounmpo rumors

November 6, 2014 Updates

Thanasis Antetokounmpo was practicing with his Greek club in August when he realized he had missed two phonecalls from aThanasis number he didn’t recognize. “So I called back and it was Phil,” as in Phil Jackson, Antetokounmpo recalled Wednesday at the Westchester Knicks media day. “And then my phone died and I was rushing to charge my phone to call back.” The Knicks Blog

When Antetokounmpo ultimately did speak with Jackson, the Zenmaster convinced the 6-foot-6 second-round draft pick to come play with the Knicks D-League team instead of playing overseas, where he reportedly could have made as much as $550,000 instead of the $24,600 the D-League offers. What was Jackson’s message in that phonecall? “That they believe in me and the only thing I have to do is believe in myself,” Antetokounmpo said. The Knicks Blog

November 5, 2014 Updates
October 21, 2014 Updates

Giannis says Thanasis can be 'better' than him: He was probably just being polite, but Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo thinks his brother and Knicks draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo can be better than he is. "He can be better than me. I believe that," Giannis said Monday. Giannis added that his brother is "very athletic." "You can't [teach] that. Like some guys are tall. You can't [teach] tallness. The only thing you can do is improve your skills to play in this league. That's what he's doing. Just trying to improve his skills so he can make it in the league." ESPN.com

October 7, 2014 Updates
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August 26, 2014 Updates

The Greek agent for Knicks draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo said he’s “amazed’’ his client chose to play in the NBA’s D-League for the $25,000 cap and turn down an offer from an A-Division team in the Italian League, calling it “a big sacrifice.’’ According to agent Tim Lotsos, the Italian club, Varese, offered Antetokounmpo a two-year deal worth $550,000 with an opt-out to join the NBA after one year. Olympiakos in Greece and Sevilla in Spain also offered him deals. “Amazing isn’t it?,’’ Lotsos told The Post in a phone call from Greece. “To my surprise, he passed on it. He’s very ambitious and determined to make the NBA. It’s a big sacrifice. It could’ve really put him ahead of schedule in his career. I didn’t try to force him. I wanted him to make his own decision.’’ New York Post

The high-energy Greek guard played on the Knicks summer league team and looked raw, committing eight fouls in the opener. However, Jackson said his name should be changed from Thanasis to “Tenacious.’’ According to a source, the communication between Thanasis and the Knicks was poor and the Greek energizer was disappointed they didn’t see him fit for the 15-man roster. In fact, after The Post’s report he would be stashed, Antetokounmpo told another news outlets it was news to him. As recently as three weeks ago, at a rookie orientation camp, Thanasis said he planned to be in Knicks’ training camp. New York Post

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The Knicks also drafted Greek shooting guard Thanasis Antetokounmpo in the second round at No. 52 with the thought of stashing him in Europe. There’s another option of placing him on their D-League affiliate in Westchester without him signing an NBA contract and taking up one of the 15 roster spots. New York Post

July 7, 2014 Updates

According to an NBA source, the Knicks drafted him with plans of stashing him in Europe for one season, even if he has a good summer league. Antetokounmpo could have other ideas and the Knicks claim officially no decision has been made yet. The Knicks will hold their first summer-league practice Tuesday in Vegas. Antetokounmpo was selected with the 51st pick by the Knicks as part of the Mavericks trade. New York Post

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