The Dallas Mavericks fell to a 122-107 defeat at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
Antetokounmpo notched up a a double-double after scoring 29 points and 17 rebounds and also added five assists to round off an impressive performance at the American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki, who is 40-years-old, knows what is takes to make it in the NBA, having won a championship with Dallas and being named the NBA Finals MVP in the same year back in 2011.
And the 7ft German Power Forward had lots of praise for Antetokounmpo after the final buzzer.
“He wants to be great,” Nowitzki said.
“He wants the ball, he wants to make plays or himself and his team-mates.
“He’s a competitor.
“I’ve heard he’s a work horse, always trying to get better.
“That shows, he’s obviously worked on his body.
“He was super-skinny when he came in and now he’s like really strong and he’s tough to keep out of the lane.
“Those are all great things to have if you want to be a great player in this league.”
The Mavericks shot well from behind the arc in Texas as they tied a team record for made three-pointers, after converting 22 of their 53 attempts.
While Milwaukee on the other hand only made 10 of 36 from three point range.
But Dallas’ poor performance in the paint hurt them badly on a night which saw the Bucks outscore them 80-26.
While Nowitzki, who has 20 years experience in the NBA, was impressed by the development of Antetokounmpo, the player known as the ‘Greek Freak’ singled out Dallas’ rookie Luka Doncic after the game.
“He’s a big part of this team,” Antetokounmpo said about Doncic.
“The sky is the limit for him.
“He is going to keep getting better and you are going to hear about Luka Doncic in the future a lot.”
After this loss the Mavericks are now 25-29 for the season and sit 11th in the Western Conference.
The Mavericks next game will be at home as they host the Portland Trail Blazers.