Thanasis Antetokounmpo Responds to Nepotism Claims as Bronny Fuels Debate


The Lakers drafting Bronny James in the second round has thrown a spotlight on nepotism and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother and Bucks bench player, Thanasis, knows all too well how Bronny feels.

LeBron and Bronny’s agent, Rich Paul, told TMZ that even if Bronny’s name was “John Smith” he would have been drafted.

As for Thanasis, he has become a walking meme because of his status as Giannis’ less talented older brother.

Multiple times, The NBA on TNT crew have spoken about how they think Thanasis only has a roster spot with Milwaukee because of his last name.

But, Thanasis sees it differently.

“You know you see people say stuff online, I’m like guys if you really knew you’d be like what” Thanasis said on Bootleg Kev podcast. “So Giannis gets drafted, and in the same draft that Giannis gets drafted, I had an agent at the time, I was the best man at his wedding, they call him and go, “Hey, is Thanasis in the draft”. This is two days before. He goes, “No, he’s not in the draft” they go, “Damn we would’ve picked him at number 52 with Brooklyn. I go like what, they would’ve picked me. Mind you I have no paper work, nothing, I didn’t do nothing you have to submit everything. I’m like man, Giannis get drafted first round, that year, same year.”

Giannis’ brother has found a way for the criticism to be taken as a compliment.

“That’s a compliment because that means I’m a good person,” Thanasis said. “Nobody gives you nothing if they don’t like you, first of all. You got to bring something to the table. I actually like Charles Barkley, and I actually like Shaq…The thing is, what happens is, some kids believe that.”

Bronny, similar to Thanasis, is copping flak because LeBron had a hand in drafting him and Stephen A. Smith recently fired back at those critics.

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“We live in a country where nepotism has taken place with white folks religiously, forever,” Smith said on ESPN.  We’ve said little to nothing about it. In the NBA specifically, in a league where at least 70 percent of the players are Black, we’ve seen nepotism with white folks all over the place – ownership, executive ranks, player personnel, scouting, coaching, the list goes on and on. We’ve said little to nothing about it. And now this happens with LeBron James, a member of the Mount Rushmore of basketball, and all of a sudden you’ve got people running their mouths.

“…Bronny James would not be on an NBA roster if it were not for LeBron James. We all know this. We accept it. The issue is the resentment that’s emanating from people out there. How dare you resent LeBron James…America, not everybody, not most, but a lot of people are about, ‘Stay in your place, stay in your lane.’ And LeBron James has religiously been about the business of defining his own lane.”