Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press
Appearing on ESPN Radio’s The Stephen A. Smith Show (h/t The Score’s Chris Walder) on Thursday, O’Neal announced he was giving his nickname to Antetokounmpo:
“I’ve never given my name up before, but I’m giving it to him. He’s the new Superman. 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.”
NBA TV @NBATV
“Giannis, you’re the new Superman. Congratulations.”
@Shaq says it’s Giannis’ era now. 😳 https://t.co/MqC2TgFDCZ
As O’Neal mentioned, he’s been reluctant to give up the moniker of the DC Comics superhero.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game for the first-place Bucks, but being given the Superman nickname could be the best thing that happens to him this season.