Kevin Durant Says Giannis Antetokounmpo Can Be Best NBA Player Ever

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2017

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Philadelphia. The Bucks won 90-82. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Kevin Durant's fandom of Giannis Antetokounmpo has been well-documented over the past year, and the reigning NBA Finals MVP heaped more praise on the Milwaukee Bucks stud Friday.           

In a Q&A video posted to his YouTube page, Durant said Antetokounmpo is his favorite player to watch and that he could one day etch himself into basketball lore as arguably the best to ever lace them up. 

"I like long, athletic guys," Durant said. "That's just who I am. The Greek Freak I think is a force, and I've never seen anything like him. And his ceiling is probably—he could end up being the best player to ever play if he really wanted to. That's pretty scary to think about. But he's by far my favorite player to watch."  

Durant's comments can be heard in full beginning at the 9:57 mark: 

Back in June, Durant congratulated Antetokounmpo on his 2016-17 Most Improved Player award and predicted more big things in the 22-year-old's future. 

"Congrats on MIP, this dude is a specimen that we've never seen before and it's guaranteed that he will be an MVP one day!" Durant wrote. "In fact, I called out this years MVP years ago so you gotta respect my knowledge for the game lol."

A few months earlier, Durant appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast (h/t NBA.com) and said he thought Antetokounmpo was more physically imposing than him:

"Look at Giannis. Giannis Antetokounmpo, this guy is scary. He's more athletic than I am. He's longer than me. He's faster. He's going to be stronger than I am.

"... A lot of people told me he looked up to me, and I didn't know that, but a lot of people said that. We played in Milwaukee one time and I was working out before the game and I just saw him staring at me, just watching me the whole time. I was like it feels good that I can influence a young guy like that."

Durant was on to something. 

In just his fourth NBA season, Antetokounmpo took the NBA by storm and became the first player since Kevin Garnett (2002-03) to average at least 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and 1.5 blocks per game. 

Now headed for his fifth professional campaign, Antetokounmpo will attempt to propel the Bucks past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.  

Milwaukee opens the 2017-18 regular season next Wednesday against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.