Milwaukee Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has signed a three-year, $186M contract extension, solidifying that he is here to stay in the 414. While fans have expressed their excitement, we didn’t know reactions of players or even Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin. Thanks to Eric Nehm of The Athletic, we now know.
Bucks HC on Giannis Antetokounmpo: “Best player in the world.”
Just like everyone else, coach Adrian Griffin was ecstatic to hear the news that Giannis had signed an extension to stay with the team, even going as far as saying Giannis is the best basketball player in the world:
“I’m ecstatic about Giannis signing the extension, he’s the best player in the world. Having him commit for a few more years is just amazing.”
He gave a big part of the credit to general manager Jon Horst and assistant GM Milt Newton to making the deal happen.
Griffin is Antetokounmpo’s fifth head-coach that he’s seen throughout his career and both have reached a point where they’re on the same page; They both want the team to win a championship and will do whatever it takes to do that. Even prior to the extension even happening, Griffin said that him and Antetokounmpo are closely aligned with what they want:
“Giannis and I are on the same page,” Griffin told Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “We have a great relationship thus far. He’s been pleasant to get to know and he wants to win and I want to win and it’s that simple…It’s a great partnership, and we’re going to lead the team together. Where he leads, the others will follow. So, I think it’s great.”
Giannis has stated before that having Griffin on as head-coach definitely brings a new vibe, a new era to the team. Now, the team has been able to play more intensely and put out stronger defense even in practice, something they weren’t able to do under former HC Mike Budenholzer.
Griffin even told the media on Tuesday that even though Giannis has signed this extension, it doesn’t change the way they work, that they’re still going in strong no matter what:
“But at the same time, what doesn’t change for us is the work. Still got a lot of work to do and it just starts with one practice at time and one game at a time, so we’re not losing sight of what’s really important, which is we continue to build chemistry together on the court and off the court and we continue to get ready for this first game.”
He goes on to talk about how Giannis and extension talks were never a distraction when it came to getting game-ready, and how fortunate the team is to have a player like Giannis:
“Giannis was never a distraction, he’s the best player in the world. We’re very fortunate that he designed to sign an extension again. We’re excited about our entire team, but Giannis he just proves he’s a high character guy. We’re just fortunate to have someone as special as Giannis. You know, he signed his extension yesterday, and he was the last person to leave today in the gym. I mean, it just tells you how special he is and he’s an extremely hard worker.
“I’m extremely fortunate as a coach, we’re extremely fortunate as an organization to have someone like Giannis, be the heart and soul of our team.”
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