Giannis Antetokuonmpo is not changing his tone in terms of his future with the Milwaukee Bucks. Earlier this summer, Giannis threatened to leave the team if its championship objectives no longer align with his. As it turns out, not even the arrival of Damian Lillard is enough to convince him otherwise.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Speaks Out on Milwaukee Bucks Future
Speaking to Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Giannis revealed exactly why his mindset remains unchanged. According to the former back-to-back NBA MVP, this has always been his way of thinking from the get-go. Antetokounmpo made it abundantly clear that he would love to play out his entire career with the Bucks — with one massive caveat:
“I always envisioned myself to be in Milwaukee for a long time. And I always say that I want to play 20 years. I want to be like Tim Duncan, like Kobe, all those guys that played with one team for a lot of years and won the championship,” he said. “But at the end of the day, before loyalty, winning comes first. We are judged on winning. I’m a winner. I want to win. And the words that I say, I feel like sometimes they’ve been taken out of proportion because I’ve said these words for four or five, six years now. And I don’t know why it’s different this time. It is different when your extension comes around, when your extension is three, four years down the road and you say those words like, ‘Hey, I want my team to be the best available team and I want everybody to be on the same page,’ nobody really cares.
“But when your extension comes around, it’s like, ‘Oh, he might leave.’ No, no, no. It’s not the case. I want the best possible team. I want to wake up every single day when I come to work and know that I have a chance to win. And I want the organization to be on the same page and not to be comfortable because we won one [title]. So, what we going to wait 15 more years to win another one? No, no, no way. We have to bring it every single day. I try to bring it every day as much as I can. And I expect the same approach from people next to me.”
The man has a point.
To be fair, it’s not as if the Bucks are resting on their laurels either. The fact that they went all-in on Lillard this summer is a clear testament to this fact.
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Giannis appreciates the effort. He called on the front office to make the necessary moves to make the team a formidable title contender, and they answered his call.
Nevertheless, Antetokounmpo still wants everyone around him to imbibe the same incessant desire for a championship as he has:
“But obviously bringing Dame here, it’s a beginning, it’s a start. But again, I’ve always wanted to be [a title contender] and that doesn’t change. But the moment I feel like people around me, they’re not as determined to be great … I try to surround myself with greatness. I try to surround myself with winners. I want to be that guy. But so far, the last couple of years, the last five years, we’ve been the most winning team in the NBA and we have to continue to be that way and hopefully we can have another chance to win another championship and don’t get comfortable at all.
“I’m not comfortable. I’m 28 years old; I cannot be comfortable. I want the same kind of approach from everybody on the team. So, so far, I feel good. And I know for sure the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Bucks organization is excited for the season and they feel good with the players that they have on the court. So, I’m excited to go to and try to do the best that I can.”
The bottom line here is that Giannis wants to stay. If given a choice, he would like to retire as a Buck.
However, nothing is guaranteed. Even if they win a championship this coming season, Anteotokounmpo himself has already indicated that he will jump ship the moment he feels that the people around him are no longer as hungry for another championship as he is.
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