Giannis passes Kareem on Bucks’ rebound list

Bucks secure game ball after Giannis sets franchise rebound record (0:26)

Bucks security guard Danny Carter grabs the game ball for Giannis Antetokounmpo after he passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most rebounds in franchise history. (0:26)

  • Jamal Collier, ESPNDec 18, 2023, 12:16 AM ET

MILWAUKEE — Bucks two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo collected another franchise record during Sunday’s 128-119 victory over the Houston Rockets, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most rebounds.

Antetokounmpo grabbed his 7,162 career rebound and finished with 26 points and 17 boards as Milwaukee snapped Houston’s five-game winning streak and picked up a fourth straight win.

“And I think we got the game ball,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said with a smile after the game, a reference to Wednesday night, when Antetokounmpo exchanged heated words with members of the Indiana staff and raced toward the Pacers locker room as both teams squared off in a hallway in a dispute over the game ball after his 64-point performance.

Indeed, Antetokounmpo had the game ball by his side in the locker room following the game, inscribed to mark the record by Bucks assistant equipment manager Eric Ofcharsky. Antetokounmpo said he has an office he keeps locked in his home where he stores basketballs, trophies and memorabilia — and he planned to add this one to his collection.

Antetokounmpo became the team’s all-time scoring leader in March 2022 when he broke another Abdul-Jabbar mark.

“It’s a big honor,” Antetokounmpo said. “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.”

The Bucks had three players finish with at least 20 points in Sunday’s win. Antetokounmpo was joined by Khris Middleton, who scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and Damian Lillard, who matched his most points in a Bucks jersey with 39.

Antetokounmpo owns just about every major Bucks’ franchise record. He joins Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves) as the only player to lead a franchise in points, rebounds and assists.

Antetokounmpo also holds the Bucks all-time records in blocks, triple-doubles, games, minutes, field goals and free throws made.

“I want to keep on playing the game at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said. “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 record Antetokounmpo does not own is the all-time mark for made 3-pointers, which is held by Middleton, his teammate since Antetokounmpo was a rookie in 2013-14.

Did Middleton ever envision the day where Antetokounmpo would have set so many franchise records?

“Hell nah,” Middleton said with a laugh. “Hell nah. Now he’s got everything, except for the three-ball.”

“I’m going to get that one too Khris,” Antetokounmpo chimed in from the background. “It might take me 20 years, but I’m going to get it.”