While Arenas partially walked back his statement, he initially expressed a belief that Antetokounmpo doesn’t fully understand basketball yet. Instead, Arenas seemed to state that the two-time MVP relies solely on his physical abilities to be one of the best players in the league.
Many took exception to that sentiment, and veteran point guard Goran Dragic recently spoke out against Arenas’ analysis of Antetokounmpo.
Dragic, who signed with the Chicago Bulls earlier this summer, stated that he believes Arenas said what he said about Antetokounmpo in a bid to remain “relevant.” He went on to make it clear that he believes Antetokounmpo has already achieved far more than Arenas ever accomplished during his NBA career.
Considering the fact that the Bucks star is a two-time MVP and one-time champion, there isn’t much room for arguing against that stance.
“Giannis is the MVP,” he told Eurohoops. “Gilbert Arenas is not. Was he ever the MVP? I don’t think so. So he can’t talk about Giannis. Giannis won the championship, won the MVP award. He has been the defensive player of the year.”
Dragic then explained the potential reasoning behind Arenas’ comments.
“Sometimes when they retire they just want to be relevant and sometimes you come out in the media,” he said. “It is what it is. Gilbert Arenas was an unbelievable player and an unbelievable scorer, but in the end, I feel like this generation has a lot of good European players in the NBA who are MVPs, or win the championship.”
Based on Dragic’s words, it seems possible that he believes part of Arenas’ original point has to do with the fact that Antetokounmpo is not an American basketball player. As many fans know, he grew up in Greece before being discovered by NBA scouts at a young age.
Whether or not that is the case is up for debate. However, one thing that seems clear is that if Arenas wants to become a media personality, he’s going to have to learn how to better express his points of view without angering a large portion of the NBA community.
Having strong takes is one thing, but having takes that many consider to be downright wrong and offensive is another thing entirely.