There's just one problem: he has a dauntingly difficult name to spell, and I've been dreading having to actually learn how to spell it. I was really hoping Antetokounmpo would drift into oblivion, but since I'm destined to mention his name on semi-frequent basis at this point -- what with him being usable in fantasy basketball -- I've decided I'm going to teach myself how to spell this dude's first and last names, so that I don't have to keep relying on Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V.
And as an added bonus, I'm going to try to help you guys playing at home learn how to spell his name too. That way you can impress all the ladies at the bar with your expert spelling skills! All right, so let's begin with the first name.
The best way to remember how Antetokounmpo's names are spelled is to look at them phonetically. (You can worry about how to pronounce them later, after you've already got the spelling under your belt.) Here, we're just going to separate it as Gi*annis. This is pretty easily to remember (at least compared to his last name), since we all know how to spell "Annis." The trick is to remember that there's a "Gi" in front of it. How do we do that? Well, there are a couple ways. For one, you could think of G.I.'s in the Army, like G.I. Joe. Or, you could choose to recall that a gi is a karate uniform. And if you're having trouble remembering that, allow me to associate his first name with karate by posting a picture of Bruce Lee below:
Granted, a gi is a Japanese piece of clothing, and Bruce Lee wasn't Japanese. But that's not really point. The point is that if you can associate the name "Giannis" with karate or fighting, it's going to make it easy to spell Antetokounmpo's first name. Gi + Annis, Gi + Annis, Giannis. Easy as pie.
Okay, so here's our progress so far:
So far so good, right? Okay, now we get into the trickier territory. I'm going to go slow and put up only a few syllables at a time.
The "ant" part of his last name is pretty easy to remember. I mean, we all know what ants are right? (If you don't, go play Fallout 3 or Command & Conquer: Red Alert.) Well, after the easy-to-remember "ant," keep in mind that there's a "tet" that connects to the end of it, to give us Antet. A good way to remember the tet is to think of the Tet Offensive, which was one of the largest campaigns in the Vietnam War. Now you may be thinking: "But, that was in Vietnam, and that has nothing to do with Bruce Lee, who was Chinese, or even a karate gi, which is Japanese." But that's not the point. Just... think of "tet" as a logical run-off after the "ant." Literally, when you think of this dude's last name, and you say "ant," you should draw out the 't' sound, because the two are conjoined at the first 't'. And from there, you can fill it out yourself.
If that doesn't work for you, you could look at this way: it's "ant" + "et," so just think of E.T. the extra terrestrian wandering from the backyard one day to retrieve a delicious Reese's Piece that fall down an ant hole. So, the alien reached down to try to snare it, but he gets bit by an ant. At that moment, the ant and E.T. are connected. Ant + E.T., Ant + Et, Antet.
If you need help remembering the E.T. connection, here's a picture of the moon.
If you don't know why I'm posting a picture of the moon in relation to E.T., then you should really go and watch that movie. I mean, Jesus, it's been out forever.
All right, so hopefully we all have the Antet section memorized by now. If so, this is our progress:
Good news! We're half way done with Giannis Antetokounmpo's crazy name! Here's the next syllable to remember.
So, forget that "Antetok" sounds like the name of a caveman that was thawed out from an arctic glacier, after he got stuck there thousands of years ago. (Or, you could remember that if that helps, I suppose.) The main thing to keep in mind is that you're just adding an "ok" at the end of Antet, and there are lots of ways to remember ok, which -- when I'm writing -- I'll normally spell out as "okay." Why, you know what I think was okay? The first Star Wars movies. They were pretty good, not like the later films. (I don't really love them, like a lot of people, but they were okay.)
But the best way to remember "ok" is to associate it with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Except, just forget the "City" part of their name. OK = Thunder, and to help you remember, here's a picture of Russell Westbrook:
If you've got the Antet part under your belt, you just have to remember that it leads into a "tok" at the end which is spelled with the "ok." And Russell Westbrook plays for OK. Antet + OK, Antet + OK, Antet + ok, Antetok.
Okay, we're getting there. Right now, we're at:
Here comes the last step, the last trick that will make us all experts when it comes to spelling Giannis Antetokounmpo's name. Hopefully, the name "Giannis Antetokounmpo" is no longer as daunting as it was at the start of this post. If you're still having trouble with the "Antetok" that we're at right now, kindly reread the previous paragraphs at least six more times until it's properly been drilled into your head.
This is it, we're going all in. Red alert! Brace yourself for impact!
This is where it gets kind of tricky. After Antetok, we have to remember the connective "ounmpo." But how? HOW DAMN IT?!?!?! Okay, calm down. You can do this, Reetae.
The way I can remember the second half of Antetokounmpo's last name (besides writing it down enough times that becomes second nature) is to think of "ounmpo" as something a wolf would cry as it's howling. So, Antetok + wolf howling. Antetok + ounmpo.
If we can work backwards for once, "po" is actually incredibly easy to remember, since Po was the main character in Kung Fu Panda. And if you've never seen Kung Fu Panda (which is fairly inexcusable, but whatever), you can look at "po" as p.o., as in a PO Box, where you send stuff. The "po" is at the very end of this, so really, we just need to remember the "ounm" part before it.
Back to the wolf howl. After you've spelled Antetok, imagine that a wolf's howl sounds like it's crying the word "noun." Except, wolves don't have the vocal cords to produce a word like "noun," so instead, the wolf is howling oooooooouuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnn, or "oun." Antetok + wolf howl, AKA, Antetok + oun.
If you can remember my clearly-flawless wolf-howling mnemonic device, the rest is simple. You've got Antetokoun, and you need to connect it to Po. How do you do it? With an M. With an M!!!!
So, Giannis Antetokoun + m + po. If you can remember the "po" at the end, (go watch Kung Fu Panda), you can stretch that out as "mpo." If you have trouble remembering to put an 'm' in between the wolf's howl and Po, just think -- what would a wolf say if it spotted a giant panda bear wandering around in a woodland forest? It'd say mmmmmmmmm, because it'd get hungry looking at all that succulent panda meat. Wolf howl + plus wolf spotting panda bear and drooling over it + the panda bear from Kung Fu Panda. All that adds up to "ounmpo."
Antetok + ounmpo = Antetokounmpo. Oh, and if you need help thinking of a panda bear:
So there you have it. Through at times nonsensical means, I have managed to teach myself how to spell Giannis Antetokounmpo's name, without needing the assistance of the COPY and PASTE buttons. Hopefully, you too can now do this extremely specific task. Antetokounmpo is the youngest player in the entire league and he's already pretty damn good, so you might as well learn to spell his name now, rather than later.
By the way, in case you were curious, Antetokounmpo was born in Greece. He is of Nigerian descent, but he doesn't have citizenship there, whereas he does in Greece. Also, according to the always reliable Wikipedia, Antetokounmpo has the nickname "The Greek Freak," which I've honestly never heard before. But, who am I dispute what Wikipedia says is true.
Anyways, this is primarily a fantasy basketball blog, so if you came here expecting blurbs on what happened in NBA fantasy the other day, then good news, because I've got a heaping helping of blurbs ready for your consumption.
- Stephen Curry had yet another near triple-double, this time going for 29 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, a block and 5 three's on 10-23 shooting. Assuming the Warriors can continue to ascend the standings in the Western Conference, Curry should absolutely be considered a prime MVP candidate this year.
- Andre Iguodala had easily his best game yet since returning from his injury, posting 8 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks against the Cavaliers. In Golden State, Iggy doesn't have to score as much as he did in Philadelphia or Denver, which is something of a bummer. But he's still an outstanding fantasy asset, as he was leading all forwards in assists per game prior to getting hurt.
- Draymond Green was productive off the bench for the Warriors, scoring 5 points to go with 12 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, a three and 4 blocks. Green is a fantastic defensive player, and if he was ever given major minutes, there's a chance he could be among the league-leaders in steals per game, besides assisting admirably in blocks and rebounds. But with Harrison Barnes, Iguodala and Klay Thompson all ahead of him on the depth chart, Green isn't someone to pay attention to unless you're in an incredibly deep league.
- Even with DeMarre Carroll out with a sprained thumb, neither Pedro Antic nor Gustavo Ayon nor Mike Scott did anything off the bench. Unfortunately, with Elton Brand taking hold of the center spot in Al Horford's absence (to poor results, too), it doesn't look like anyone on the team is going to capitalize on their leading scorer's season-ending injury -- which will of course make it very difficult for Atlanta to do anything this season, even in an extremely weak Eastern Conference.
- Victor Oladipo had his second straight great game, this time notching 15 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in 29 minutes off the bench. Oladipo has the skillset to be a superstar in the NBA, and his ability to produce in every category -- even in blocks -- is incredibly rare for someone with point guard eligibility. As a young rookie coming off the bench, he's fairly erratic and is prone to some weak shooting performances from time to time. But his talent is such that the good showings are going to outweigh the bad ones, meaning he's absolutely someone you should invest in.
- DeMarcus Cousins had his third straight game of at least 24-and-14, this time lighting up the Spurs for 29 points and 14 rebounds. Cousins is going to be a very expensive player in fantasy drafts next season.
- Evan Turner returned to the court yesterday and played well, collecting 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and even -- drum roll -- a block. Yes, it took 29 games and over 1,000 minutes of gametime, but the 6-foot-7 Evan Turner was finally able to register a blocked shot. Also, the Eagles are going to the playoffs.
- Jordan Farmar had a rough shooting night, though he was still productive for the Lakers: 8 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds on 3-11 shooting. Farmar has 15 assists in his last two games and should be a terrific fantasy point guard for at least the next month, while Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant recover from their injuries. Farmar is only owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues.
- Pau Gasol missed a second consecutive game with a respiratory infection, and in an interesting development, it turns out that Gasol actually wanted to play -- but the team trainer told him not to. Gasol has seemed woefully out of place on the Lakers ever since they tried to trade him to the Rockets, and I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before they actually cut ties with him -- especially since the Lakers will want to be big players in the latest round of free-agency, and Gasol has a hefty salary. A trade to a new team would probably rejuvenate him, which would be good for his fantasy owners, but even without a trade, Gasol is still a pretty decent guy to own. No, he's not the elite bigman he was a few years ago, but he's still having a productive season, averaging 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. I wouldn't break the bank to get him, but this isn't a terrible time to buy low on him either.
- I used a lot of illustrations in today's post, and I need to give credit where credit is due. The Bruce Lee image is courtesy of Wang Tao; the moon illustration is courtesy of Terry Fan; the Russell Westbrook illustration is courtesy of Patrick Ortega/Five magazine, K1X; the "Minnesnowta" Timberwolves illustration is courtesy of Matthew Wolff; and the Panda Storm Trooper illustration is courtesy of Danny Haas. They're all really, really talented artists.
- By the way, Antetokounmpo's last name is so long that it couldn't even fit in the headline at the top of the page (on my browser anyway), which is a first. He and Jared Saltalamacchia should become best friends.