Giannis on Breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Bucks Scoring Record: 'I'm a Bucket!'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2022

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo plays during an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 44 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 120-119 overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

Antetokounmpo (14,216 regular-season points) surpassed Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211) on the Bucks' scoring list.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

From the 15th pick to Milwaukee’s All-Time Scoring Leader. <br><br>The work isn’t done. Stay hungry. <a href="https://t.co/decXP9Osz0">pic.twitter.com/decXP9Osz0</a>

"How many points? 14,000-something? Ohhh! I'm a bucket! I'm a bucket! It's fun, you know?" the two-time NBA MVP told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The 27-year-old Greece native, who was a first-round pick of the Bucks in 2013, didn't want to spend too much time harping on an individual achievement, though.

"It doesn't really matter," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "Because at the end of the day if you don't have a successful season, if you don't try and keep getting better and staying humble and staying happy, play all the way until May, June, nobody's going to remember this."

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was more willing to celebrate the moment:

"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is just one of the iconic players in our league. And what he was able to accomplish in Milwaukee and then of course going forward, he's one of the all-time greats. So for Giannis to pass him, organizationally, as our all-time career leading scorer, to have a front-row seat for the last three and three-quarters, almost four years, I just feel incredibly fortunate. His teammates are beyond happy for him. ... It's beyond impressive what he's done, and he's got a lot more left ahead of him."

Giannis' emergence as one of the NBA's premier players over the past six years has transformed the Bucks into a perennial championship contender, and that culminated last June when they captured their first title since Abdul-Jabbar was headlining the roster in 1971.

The six-time All-Star is putting together another MVP-level campaign in 2021-22. He's averaged 30.1 points, which is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James for the league lead, along with 11.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 55.4 percent from the field in 63 appearances.

He's also under contract with the Bucks through at least 2024-25, so the gap between himself and everybody else on the team's scoring list will only continue to grow in the years ahead.