A few weeks ago, there were rumors that two Greek professional basketball teams — Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens — were interested in signing former Lakers two-way player Kostas Antetokounmpo after he spent the last two years going back and forth between the parent roster and the G League.
Now, according to Christos Harpidis of Total Basket Greece, Kostas — who is a free agent this summer — is on his way home. Antetokounmpo will sign with Olympiacos, leaving the NBA after three years on two-way contracts with the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.
Kostas Antetokounmpo to Olympiacos is a done deal and the 23-year old center will sign a four-year contract,per @Totalbasketgr sources and I totally confirm @TolisLeoussis from @overfmgr.— Christos Harpidis (@chrisalucard) July 2, 2021
More to follow after the games of Greek NT. #Euroleague #OlympiacosBc @Kostas_ante13
Update: Eurohoops.net is reporting that Kostas has yet to decide where he’ll go and has other offers, but either way, it seems pretty clear he’s leaving the Lakers if these are the level of offers he’s fielding:
Kostas Antetokounmpo is still examining his options among European clubs.— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) July 2, 2021
He will decide after the Olympic Qualifiers.https://t.co/X8fP9Jklck
This is not an entirely surprising end to Kostas’ tenure, as he left the Lakers before the playoffs to head home to Greece and prepare to play for the national team this summer, and did not appear to show very many signs of being an NBA player during the 87 total minutes he played during his three-year career. To be real, the fact that he only was seen as worthy of such scant playing time by two separate NBA teams is enough of a sign in and of itself.
And let’s be honest: Once Kostas’ brother — you may have heard of him, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo? — signed a max extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s honestly surprising and classy that the Lakers didn’t move on from their designated tamper-bait immediately, and kept Kostas for the rest of the season. He was worth keeping around to take a flyer on him spreading the good word about playing for the Lakers to Giannis and Dennis Schröder’s agent, but that time is at an end now.
So good luck, Kostas. You’ll always be a Lakers champion, and the first Antetokounmpo to win an NBA title. Even if you won’t be in the NBA anymore, no one can ever take that away from you. And if the Bucks win a title, you can definitely take credit for teaching Giannis what it takes to be a winner.