Kostas makes Mavericks debut as Antetokounmpo family makes NBA history
Kostas Antetokounmpo made his long-awaited NBA debut for the Dallas Mavericks, scored his first point, and followed in the footsteps of his brothers Thanasis and Giannis in making history for the Antetokounmpo family…
Kostas Antetokounmpo finally made his debut for the Dallas Mavericks in Wednesday’s 126-118 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Antetokounmpo entered the game with 5:53 remaining as the Mavericks, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention in the NBA’s Western Conference, gave the 21-year-old his first minutes in the NBA.
Antetokounmpo managed to grab one rebound and two steals, but didn’t manage to score a point until he drew a shooting foul with 33 seconds left. Missing his first attempt, Antetokounmpo managed to convert his second shot and score his first point in the NBA.
"It's a great feeling, man," Antetokounmpo said of his debut. "It's a dream come true and I was excited I was able to score a point."
When asked about scoring his first point, Antetokounmpo revealed that he had reminisced about his older brother’s first NBA point after Giannis notched his first point in the league from the free throw line.
"That's crazy because that's how my brother (Giannis) got his first point, too," he said. "He missed the first one and made the second one, just like I did. I thought about it after I made it. I was like, 'Oh, man, that's how he did this.' "
Dallas coach, Rick Carlisle, spoke highly of Antetokounmpo, who became the fourth player the Mavericks drafted last summer to make their debut this season.
"I thought he did great," Carlisle said, adding with a smile, "the guy was plus-8 in 5:53. Pretty damn good if you ask me.”
"And, look, he knew we were trying to get him a bucket. You go to the free-throw line and there's 33 seconds left in the game and you don't know the next time you're going to get in a game, there's pressure there. He did a really great job on the second free-throw, adjusting and getting in in there.”
With Dallas eyeing the future, Antetokounmpo could see more playing time in the Mavericks’ final 10 games of the season as the club looks to review the development of their prospects heading into the offseason.
Antetokounmpo brothers make NBA History
Kostas’ debut for the Mavericks certainly caught the attention of older brother Giannis as the Milwaukee Bucks superstar took to social media to congratulate his younger brother.
In fact, it wasn’t just Kostas who made history on Wednesday night. Kostas’ first minutes in the NBA helped the Antetokounmpo family become the first non-American family to have a trio of siblings play in the NBA as Kostas followed in the footsteps of Thanasis and Giannis.
Previously, only two siblings of non-American families had competed in the NBA, including most notably Spain’s Gasol brothers (Pau and Marc) and Slovenia’s Dragic brothers (Zoran and Goran).
More history could await the Antetokounmpo with the youngest brother, Alex, keen on chasing a career in the NBA and currently a projected pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.