Giannis Antetokounmpo just dropped a bomb on the NBA world…
“Down the line…”
"Down the line, you never know. … Maybe I’ll play for Chicago, but right now I'm committed to Milwaukee"
Giannis doesn't rule out the possibility of playing for Chicago in the future 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 15, 2022
And fans everywhere are at a loss trying to make sense of his cryptic statement. Some say it’s an attempt to make some noise. After all, it’s been a rather quiet offseason for the Bucks. Others claim he’s trying to keep Milwaukee’s management on their toes. Either way, he succeeded in grabbing everyone’s attention and it wouldn’t be the first time the 2x MVP gave us all a good jump scare like this.
“The next challenge…”
If you didn’t watch the clip above, Giannis was quoted after the 2021 NBA Finals, saying, “I just love challenges…[but] the next challenge might not be here.” To clarify, this was after Giannis led Milwaukee to their first championship win in 50 years. Making a statement like this so soon after an impressive Finals run is weird to say the least. When the door for celebration comes to a close, it’s typically not because the best player on the winning team closes it. Nonetheless, Giannis said the time for fun and games was over. Time to go back to work.
“I’m told if he doesn’t get to the Finals, he’s leaving. I don’t know if that’s true or not.”
-Stephen A Smith on Giannis Antetokounmpo
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 6, 2020
Every NBA fan should know about Stephen A. Smith. Whether you love him or hate him, he’s no stranger to stirring the pot like our friend Giannis. Here, he stirs the pot about our friend Giannis. Tensions were beginning to grow in Milwaukee following consecutive seasons of playoff disappointment. Many analysts and fans, alike, considered Giannis’ will to leave the Bucks. However, despite being quickly dispatched by the Heat in the 2020 playoffs, Giannis would stick around to exact revenge on Miami enroute to Milwaukee’s 2021 championship.
Courtesy of Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Look, nobody really knows why Giannis keeps talking about leaving the Bucks. At this point, he’s brought it up pre and post championship. Maybe he’s trying to soften the blow if he does reach the point of wanting to leave. Maybe he is just trying to stir the pot: testing our ears to see who’s paying attention. He could even be trolling, which wouldn’t be too far off for the freak who’s as goofy as he is Greek. Another g-word I’d give Giannis is “gladiator”. The dude wants to compete at the highest level no matter what, which can be exciting, but also scary for Bucks fans.
Hypothetically, if the Bucks were to reach a point where they can’t compete, is it really reasonable to expect Giannis to stay? I’m sure he’d be criticized for not being loyal, but the league just isn’t what it used to be. Loyalty isn’t as valuable anymore as we’ve seen the loyalest of NBA stars be criticized for their unwillingness to move on from their mediocre franchises. Ring culture might be toxic but it still exists, and the cost of loyalty seems higher than ever. In a league where every accolade and accomplishment can be held against you, every player must choose what’s best for their legacy. Giannis is no exception, and, if he were to leave, it shouldn’t necessarily be held against him.
In the first paragraph, I emphasized the words “everywhere”, “everyone”, and “all”; my point being that nearly any and every word out of a player of Giannis’ magnitude is going to mean something to somebody somewhere. Should Bucks fans be scared of Giannis leaving in the immediate future? No, his response in the first clip sounded about as media trained as it could get. So, my message is this: enjoy and appreciate the greatness of Giannis Antetokounmpo while you can. Whether you refer to him as “Alphabet Man”, “The Greek Freak” or just Giannis, he’s adored by fans all over the world and for good reason.
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