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Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and almost two blocks to propel the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA championship since the days of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, and Jon McGlockin half a century ago.

Giannis did this with Khris Middleton as his Scottie Pippen, Jrue Holiday as their third top scorer, Brook Lopez as their chief big, PJ Tucker concentrating on defense, and Pat Connaughton averaging 30 minutes a game.

The Greek Freak tore it up with 50 points in the title-clincher – which is a testament to how dominant he was in the NBA Finals.

And now I am beginning to regret the thought that I sold my Giannis rookie auto for 25,000 pesos.

The pandemic era has brought me back to card collecting. I thought 25k is an insane price to pay for cards but what’s more insane is that through the 2020-21 NBA season, we have seen 144-card Panini Prizm boxes go around the 70k to the 110,000-peso range.

A gem mint version of the rookie card I once owned was sold on eBay for around 150,000 pesos. Sure, the card I owned had side issues… but maybe I could get more from the card.

Still, I thought that the move had to happen. For starters, selling the card brought me back to the hobby. Now I have a couple of rookie autos and while these players fail in comparison to Giannis’ current stock, we can’t also discount the fact that as a rookie, he averaged a lowly 6.8 points.

Anyway, the end of the NBA season signaled another problem for me. ESPN is probably going to wipe out most of the fantasy basketball records and I wanted to do an extensive stat library from what happened last season. The thing about the current NBA setup is that sure, we have the superstars either clamped up in one team or doing their thing as solo acts… but most of them were injury-riddled in the course of the season. Giannis for starters missed eleven games this season – with Khris Middleton doing an exemplary job manning the fort in his absence.

I participated in three fantasy leagues this season and I made the playoffs in each of them – with one championship to boast.

I don’t know if I want to select Giannis as my top guy – in case I get the top pick spot but I guess he has to do well to increase the chances of a repeat title win. Ever since the 2000s hit, the Eastern Conference has produced only one back-to-back winner with the Miami Heat winning the NBA Finals in 2012 and 2013. If you move the parameters to 1981, the Detroit Pistons and the twin three-peats of the Chicago Bulls have matched what the Western Conference had. The problem here though is that the West has more back-to-back winners with the Los Angeles Lakers doing it in the span thrice and with the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors hitting it once.

Milwaukee will face a tough road with Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Atlanta as title contenders.

And I miss my Giannis rookie card.

I never got a sofa bed... or a PS5.

I did have an assortment of rookie cards.

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