Michael Jordan remains the gold standard of all NBA comparisons, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was quick to shut down even the mention of his name alongside His Airness.
"I'm not Michael Jordan," he told reporters after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 120-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Sunday's Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Finals. "All I care about right now is getting one more [win]."
The comparison was brought up because Jordan scored 40 or more points in four straight NBA Finals games against the Suns in 1993. Antetokounmpo is halfway there with back-to-back games of more than 40 points against the same franchise.
The biggest difference for Giannis between his 42 points in Game 2 and his 41 points in Game 3 was the result.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton shot a combined 12-of-37 (32.4 percent) from the field during the Game 2 loss, rendering the two-time MVP's performance moot. That was not the case Sunday, as Holiday notched 21 points and nine assists behind 5-of-10 shooting from deep, while Middleton added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The two also went 14-of-28 from the field (50 percent).
That, along with a dominant showing from Antetokounmpo, was enough to close the deficit to 2-1 in the series and give the Bucks an opportunity to tie things up Wednesday before the Finals shift back to Phoenix.
Antetokounmpo overpowered the Suns' frontcourt throughout the game, didn't settle for three-pointers and broke out in transition whenever given the opportunity.
As for those Jordan comparisons?
Well, MJ led the Chicago Bulls to the title in 1993, clinching the first of two three-peats in his legendary career. He scored 42 points in Game 2, 44 in Game 3, 55 in Game 4 and 41 in Game 5 before closing out Game 6 with 33 points.
He was at the peak of his powers and in the prime of his career.
Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, still has his work cut out for him just to win his first title.