Dwight Howard knows a fake fan when he sees one.
The Hawks center was ejected from Monday night’s game against the Celtics after receiving his second technical in the third quarter for hanging on the rim — an ejection the NBA later said never should have happened. On his way off the court, Howard wanted to give away a souvenir.
That’s where Antetokounmpo is still defining himself. His talent is obvious, and we’re seeing that his ability on both ends of the floor makes him, potentially, one of the best players in the league. He doesn’t shortchange his talent, and even this summer, when he went to Greece to train with the army and play for the national team, the Bucks sent with him strength and conditioning trainer Suki Hobson, as well as assistant coach Sean Sweeney, who has been instrumental in working on Antetokounmpo’s offseason development.
With his youth, though, Antetokounmpo is still prone to mental mistakes such as missed passes, ill-advised drives, over-aggressiveness. Antetokounmpo harps on those shortcomings. He studies game films and keeps notes on the mistakes he made, the things he could have done better. He doesn’t spend much time reliving the things he did well. He can be tough on himself, maybe too much so. But that relentlessness might be the key to unlocking the rest of his potential.
“I do worry that he’s too hard on himself,” Hammond said. “Jason (Kidd) worries about that, too, at times. But, in my 26 years in the NBA, I have had a chance to observe a lot of different players, observe Hall of Fame-type players. You know, just being around those guys, I think that is what those guys have, too. They’re never satisfied. They want to make every shot, they want to make every big play, they want to win every game and they want to be great. I think that’s kind of who those guys are.”