NBA

Antetokounmpo 'beyond blessed' after breaking Abdul-Jabbar's Bucks record

By Sports Desk December 18, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo has more records in his sights after he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's rebounds haul.

Antetokounmpo overtook Abdul-Jabbar's rebound record for the Milwaukee Bucks as he grabbed the 7,162nd rebound of his career during Sunday's 128-119 win over the Houston Rockets.

The two-time MVP finished with a double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds as the Bucks made it four straight wins since their loss to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA's in-season tournament.

With another franchise record in the bag, Antetokounmpo has no plans to slow down in chasing more achievements.

"It's a big honour," said Antetokounmpo, who also holds franchise records for blocks, triple-doubles, games, minutes, free throws made and field goals.

"I don't think anybody assumed the skinny kid from Greece that was drafted and supposed to play in the G-League was going to be in a position to break a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar record.

"I want to keep on playing the game at a high level. I want to keep on taking care of my body and I know if I do that, sometimes you break records.

"But at the end of the day, I'm beyond blessed to be the all-time leader in rebounds, but I got to keep going and keep moving forward."

One team record that has evaded Antetokounmpo so far is for successful 3-pointers. That is held by his teammate Khris Middleton, who has 1,253 to his name.

Middleton has no plans to let that record go, either.

"Hell nah. Hell nah," he chuckled. "Now he's got everything, except for the three-ball."

The Bucks are second in the Eastern Conference, behind the Boston Celtics, whose superb home record continued with a 114-97 win over the Orlando Magic.

Boston are now 14-0 at home. It is their second-best start at home in a season, behind the 1957-58 campaign, in which a Bill Russell-led team opened with 17 straight victories. 

"For a visiting team to come into this building and beat us, it's got to be a special night for them and we totally believe that," said Kristaps Porzingis, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Jaylen Bronw had 31 points, with Jayson Tatum collecting 23.

"I think we're starting to play what I would call Celtic basketball," said coach Joe Mazzulla.

"From a mentality standpoint, from a toughness standpoint, from defensive standpoint and identity."

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