In fact, O’Neal is ready to relinquish one of his favorites — “Superman” — and give it up “with honor and pleasure” to the “Greek Freak.”
“I’ve never given my name up before, but I’m giving it to him. He’s the new Superman. You heard it here first,” O’Neal told The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio on Thursday. “I didn’t hit no 3-pointer either, but he’s dominating and that’s what I like. He’s dominating in the paint. You taking it to the hole. You throwing it down. You ain’t shooting no flip shots. …
“And you know what? I don’t want to encourage big guys to shoot jumpers and 3-pointers. Stay your big ass on the inside and dominate like you been doing. So I denounce myself as Superman and I’m giving to the ‘Greek Freak.’ You heard it here first.”
Antetokounmpo, 6-foot-11, in his sixth season, is averaging 27.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for the Bucks, who lead the Central Division and are only three games behind the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
He might be shooting only 11.8 percent from 3-point range, but the two-time All-Star selection leads the NBA with 97 dunks and is shooting 65 percent inside the arc (57.7 percent from the field overall).
He finished sixth in the MVP voting last season, but O’Neal said it’s just a matter of time before he rises to the top.
“The Greek Freak is the MVP right now,” O’Neal said. “How about that?”
O’Neal has long refused to acknowledge Dwight Howard‘s use of the Superman moniker, reminding the now-Washington Wizards center multiple times over the years that there was only room for one Superman in the league.