From Greece to New York, Antetokounmpo lands with Knicks

Fri Feb 5, 2016 10:29pm EST
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By Philip O'Connor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As paths to the NBA from Europe go, Thanasis Antetokounmpo has taken the long way, but having signed a second short-term contract with the New York Knicks and made his NBA debut, he is determined to make his stay as long as possible.

His younger brother Giannis made an immediate impact in the NBA, signing a rookie contract after being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.

Thanasis, 23, was drafted by the Knicks in 2014, but subsequently farmed out to their D-League affiliate.

He played in the NBA Summer League for two years for the Knicks, but both times was cut before the season began.

Finally given his chance in the regular season, the forward is doing his best to adapt.

"There's a different culture here, so you have to adjust. You come here to play basketball," Thanasis told Reuters ahead of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

He did not get any court time, sitting on the bench as the Knicks were beaten 91-85 by Memphis.

Asked about the difference between European and D-League basketball and the NBA, the 23-year-old smiled.   Continued...

Jan 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA;  New York Knicks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo (43) reaches for the net over Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 102-84. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports