The Los Angeles Lakers brought in arguably their most-recognizable group of prospects to date for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, with Dayton forward Kostas Antetokounmpo among the headliners.
He’s the younger brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was the 15th overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2013 Draft and has emerged as an All-Star who drew praise from Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and a subsequent tampering fine.
Kostas is also related to Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played for the New York Knicks in 2016, and is proving to be more helpful in the time leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft. “Giannis didn’t really have any workouts,” Kostas said.
“But Thanasis did like 20 workouts, so he’s talked to me about the process and what to expect.”
Because of the bloodline, Kostas has fielded constant questions about Giannis. He believes they share a similarity but are otherwise vastly unalike. “I’m just different. I’m a different person. I mean, I play differently,” Kostas explained.
“We don’t play the same game. I shoot the ball more than him. He plays more downhill. I play downhill, too, but he likes to play downhill more than shoot the ball.”
One parallel the brothers share is length and athleticism, which are key in today’s NBA. “I feel like a lot of bigs right now are having a hard time guarding multiple spots. I’m trying to guard multiple spots,” Kostas explained.
“A lot of teams talk about how they want to switch from 1 to 4 or 1 to 5, so I feel like that’s one of my biggest attributes.”
Antetokounmpo ranked 10th in the Athletic 10 Conference last season with 1.1 blocks per game. He blocked at least two shots in 11 games and set a career high with four blocks in one game. As a redshirt freshman he shot over 50 percent in 18 of 29 contests, and scored in double-figures five times.
The 20-year-old aimed to highlight his aggressiveness and defensive prowess in the Lakers pre-draft workout, and was pleased with how it went. Antetokounmpo added he isn’t deterred or affected by expectations that come with being a younger brother to a budding star.
“There’s some pressure but it’s good pressure,” he said. “It’s not like I’m nervous, thinking about it every night.”
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