Goran Dragic defending Giannis: “Giannis is the MVP. Gilbert Arenas is not. Was he ever?”

2022-09-10T17:34:55+00:00 2022-09-11T12:23:42+00:00.

Aris Barkas

10/Sep/22 17:34


As the elder statement of European players in the NBA, Goran Dragic not only has Luka Doncic under his wing but defended Giannis Antetokounmpo against Gilbert Arenas

By Giannis Rammas/ irammas@eurohoops.net

Berlin, Germany – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic have made the Eurobasket 2022 a global basketball event. They are having a great tournament, breaking multiple records, and getting the interest of basketball fans around the world to an all-time high about European basketball.

Still, there’s doubt about their abilities on the other side of the Atlantic, as happened with Gilbert Arenas’ recent comments about the lack of improvement of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Dirk Nowitzki already gave his answer on this issue as did Goran Dragic.

While talking to Eurohoops after qualifying for the Eurobasket quarterfinals, Dragic didn’t hold any punches on the issue: “Giannis is the MVP. 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”.

So how he explained this take by Arenas? “Sometimes when they retire they just want to be relevant and sometimes you come out in the media. 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”.

It remains to be seen if Eurobasket will be more appreciated in general. After all, Dragic knows that coaches, GMs – Brad Stevens was in attendance in Berlin for the game between Slovenia and Belgium – and players really understand: “I know a lot of coaches are watching and GMs. When you go to the team hotels you see a lot of those executives and a lot of players too. I have seen Aaron Gordon coming to Prague to watch Nikola Jokic. They love basketball and they will watch it”.