It’s no coincidence that the Milwaukee Bucks pulled the trigger on what could be the biggest blockbuster trade of the offseason shortly after Giannis Antetokoumpo declared his intention to leave the team. It’s not as if Giannis directly said that he would jump ship in the near future, but he pretty much threatened to take his talents elsewhere if the Bucks did not surround him with the weapons he needed to compete for another championship.
Milwaukee Bucks GM Jon Horst Speaks Out
According to Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst, however, Giannis’ statements earlier this summer didn’t exactly have a significant impact on the team’s offseason dealings, particularly, with the team’s successful coup on Damian Lillard. Horst claims that Antetokounmpo did have some sort of impact on the team’s decisions this summer, but at the same time, it’s not as if they were acting upon his every whim:
“I think it’s probably too dismissive to say that (Antetokounmpo’s comments) didn’t factor in at all,” Horst told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “That’s probably not honest and sincere, because I care about everything that our players say and I try to assess it and evaluate it and understand it. But (the part it played) is just a little bit above ‘not at all.’ It’s not much above ‘Not at all.’ And the reason is that it’s not new.”
Horst went on to explain that while it may have shocked the general public, Antetokoumnpo’s declarations were actually something the team has gotten used to. It’s not they’re undermining the same but rather, it’s the same exact mindset Giannis has had and has vocalized through the years.
“It’s nothing that he hasn’t said to me privately, that he hasn’t said publicly (before). It’s nothing different than how I believe and feel and operate, obviously, considering the things that we’ve done,” Horst continued. “We’re obviously very aligned in our approach, in our commitment to winning, to not being just OK and standing pat or accepting the status quo. So it had very little impact on what we did. What we did is because we felt like it was the best thing for us to do.”
Giannis himself has already said that this is not the first time he’s come out with these types of statements about his championship aspirations with the Bucks. Horst completely agrees, which is why the high-ranking executive is able to say that Antetokounmpo’s statements did little to influence their trade deal for Lillard.
It’s not that they did not pay Giannis’ comments any mind. It’s actually quite the contrary in that this has been engrained in the front office’s vision for several years now.
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow me on Twitter at @PaoloSongcoNBA, and follow us @WiSportsHeroics. Also, check out our Merchandise Here! Get 20% off with the code “WSH.” You can also reach out to Paolo Songco via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers.