Giannis Antetokounmpo Surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Bucks' Top Rebounder

Giannis Antetokounmpo's journey reflects unmatched skill and perseverance.

by Nouman Rasool
Giannis Antetokounmpo Surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Bucks' Top Rebounder
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In a remarkable feat that solidified his place in basketball history, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks' two-time MVP, achieved a new franchise milestone in Sunday's exhilarating 128-119 triumph over the Houston Rockets.

Antetokounmpo surpassed the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the Bucks' all-time leader in rebounds, a testament to his enduring impact and versatility on the court. With his 7,162nd career rebound, Antetokounmpo didn't just break a record; he etched his name in the annals of the franchise's lore.

His stellar performance, comprising 26 points and 17 boards, was pivotal in ending Houston's five-game winning streak while propelling Milwaukee to their fourth consecutive victory. The achievement held a special significance for Antetokounmpo, who, following the game, was seen with the game ball, a memento of his historic accomplishment.

This ball, marked by Bucks assistant equipment manager Eric Ofcharsky, joins a growing collection of basketballs, trophies, and memorabilia in Antetokounmpo's home, symbolizing his journey from a skinny kid from Greece to an NBA icon.

Giannis' Multifaceted Triumph

The record-breaking moment was not just about rebounds; it was a reflection of Antetokounmpo's multifaceted dominance. In March 2022, he had already become the team's all-time scoring leader, surpassing another Abdul-Jabbar milestone.

Antetokounmpo's humility shone through as he expressed his honor in breaking a record held by such a legendary figure, acknowledging his unexpected rise to prominence. Sunday's win was a team effort, with Khris Middleton and Damian Lillard contributing significantly.

Middleton scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, while Lillard matched his highest scoring in a Bucks jersey with 39 points. Antetokounmpo's record-breaking achievement places him in an elite group, joining Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett as the only players to lead a franchise in points, rebounds, and assists.

His name is synonymous with the Bucks' history, holding records in blocks, triple-doubles, games, minutes, field goals, and free throws made. Looking ahead, Antetokounmpo remains focused on playing at a high level and taking care of his body, aware that records are a byproduct of his dedication and passion for the game.

He is motivated to continue breaking records and advancing his legacy, with a playful eye on Middleton's record for made 3-pointers. Middleton, who has witnessed Antetokounmpo's evolution since his rookie season, expressed his awe and humor at the milestones achieved by his teammate.

Antetokounmpo's journey is a testament to hard work, resilience, and the pursuit of greatness, a narrative that continues to inspire and captivate basketball fans worldwide. As he looks to the future, one thing is certain: Giannis Antetokounmpo has not only rewritten the record books but has also redefined what it means to be a legend in the sport.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks