Giannis Antetokounmpo said it with a smile, but it will be taken as a shot at Kevin Durant.
On Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show,’ guest host Hasan Minhaj asked Antetokounmpo to send a message to Durant, who joined Phoenix in a blockbuster deal right before the trade deadline.
With a live audience roaring, Antetokounmpo looked into the camera and said the following about Durant:
“You keep joining these super teams to win an NBA title,” he said as the video was posted Monday on YouTube. “How about we work out together sometime so I can teach you how to carry your own team.”
The Suns traded Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and a pick swap to Brooklyn for Durant and T.J. Warren right before the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Durant is now teammates with fellow All-Stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul and starting center Deandre Ayton as the Suns (33-29) are a championship contender.
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Durant is considered one of the NBA’s greatest players ever but has been criticized for joining teams with great talent in Golden State and Brooklyn.
Antetokounmpo was participating in a show segment Minhaj wrote for him to “trash talk” some of the “top” NBA players.
Antetokounmpo was participating in a segment Minhaj wrote for him to “trash talk” some of the “top” NBA players.
“I want you to go to Camera 3 right now, talk that (expletive) talk,” screamed Minhaj across the show desk at Antetokounmpo, who proceeded to read the “trash talk” off a teleprompter.
“Let’s go. Let’s go head hunting Giannis.”
His first comment was aimed at Luka Doncic of the Mavericks.
“Listen Luka,” Antetokounmpo said. “Even though you’re running with Kyrie (Irving) and you have all your team, I’m coming for you guys.”
Antetokounmpo then paused and said, “I can’t say that,” to whatever was on the teleprompter. That led to Minhaj standing up and having a fit.
“NOOOO!! NOOOOO!!,” Minhaj screamed. “Give the people what they want Giannis.”
Minhaj decided to read the Doncic comment on a different camera.
“What’s up Luka,” Minhaj said. “Even though you’re running with Kyrie, the scouting report is out on you. You’ve got sausage arms and cankles.”
Cankles are unusually thick or stout ankles.
“My man, for a dude from Slovenia, you look like a dude from Alabama,” Minhaj said. “And you’re going to get this work in the postseason.”
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With the crowd amped up, Antetokounmpo was asked to read a line about reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets.
“Joker, how are you going to make it through the finals when you look like you can barely make it through a Burger King drive-thru,” Antetokounmpo read off the teleprompter.
In reaction, Minhaj stood up, applauded with the crowd, and said, “This is what we want.”
Asked to continue, Antetokounmpo said, “Jokic, I love your game,” and was quickly interrupted by Minhaj.
“Hey, Jokic, how are you going to make it through the finals when you look like you can barely make it through an (expletive) Burger King drive-thru,” Minhaj read with meaning. “You shouldn’t be on the court. You should be checking IDs outside of a Hookah bar.”
The next one was for Durant.
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After reading the initial line, Antetokounmpo looked into a different camera and said, “KD, you’re one of the best scorers to ever play this game.”
Minhaj just put his head down in between his arms on the show desk.
“I respect your game,” Antetokounmpo continued. “You lead by example. You were my favorite player growing up and I respect your game.”
Minhaj couldn’t handle it.
“Come on,” he said.
The last one was for LeBron James.
“LeBron, I love your game, man,” a smiling Antetokounmpo said. “You’re the king for a reason. GOAT. Just broke the all-time scoring record. Keep doing what you’re doing man. He’s the blueprint. You’re the blueprint man.”
Minhaj responded with a line he didn’t have to read off a teleprompter.
“Listen, man, everybody we talked about in the NBA, please don’t come to kill me,” he said.
Durant drew heat for leaving Oklahoma City to join Golden State after the Warriors won an NBA-record 73 games the season before with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
The Warriors eliminated Durant and the Thunder in seven games of the 2015 Western Conference finals but lost to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals in seven games.
Durant won back-to-back titles and finals MVPs the next two seasons with the Warriors.
The 13-time All-Star reached the finals in his three seasons in Golden State before leaving for Brooklyn where he teamed with Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
The Nets only won one playoff series in their two full seasons with Durant, who missed his first season in 2019-20 with the Nets returning from a torn Achilles he suffered in the 2019 finals.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks eliminated Durant and the Nets in seven games of the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals. Milwaukee proceeded to win the NBA title over the Suns in six games of the 2021 finals as Antetokounmpo scored 50 points in the Game 6 clincher and won finals MVP.
Durant, Irving, and Harden only played 16 games together in Brooklyn. Harden was traded to Philadelphia last season and Irving was moved to Dallas before the Feb. 9 trade deadline this season.
Neither Durant nor Antetokounmpo played in Sunday’s Suns-Bucks showdown Milwaukee won, 104-101, at home. The rematch is scheduled for March 14 in Phoenix.
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