Giannis Antetokounmpo has been in this situation with the Milwaukee Bucks in the past. And just like he did the last time, the two-time NBA MVP decided to stay.
2020 All Over Again for Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo
In a recent interview with Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Giannis dropped a truth bomb about how he nearly left Milwaukee some three years ago. Antetokounmpo had a massive decision in front of him. He had an opportunity to commit his future to the Bucks shortly after their heartbreaking second-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat during the 2020 NBA Playoffs. He also had the chance to jump ship and take his talents to greener pastures.
According to Giannis, the advice he got from everyone around him was that it was time to go:
“That summer, I was calling people that were in my position in the past,” Antetokounmpo said. “I was like, ‘What do I do? Do you stay? Do you not stay? Do you stay? Do you not stay?’ And everybody was basically telling me not to stay.”
It’s a good thing he didn’t listen, though. If he did, then his career would have had a much different narrative. Obviously, he would not have won that championship with the Bucks the following year.
“… But, my gut said, ‘No. I’m here,'” he continued. “They gave me an opportunity. They changed my life. I’m here.’ And when I was driving back to my house, I called the GM [Jon Horst] and told him, ‘I’m signing.’
“… Then all of a sudden, everybody went downtown, I signed the contract and I said, ‘We’re going to win.'”
If this situation sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Milwaukee also suffered an early postseason exit to the Heat last season, which just like in 2020, came after the Bucks secured the best record in the NBA.
In fact, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Giannis also got the same advice from the people around him this past summer. Again, Bucks supporters should celebrate the fact that Antetokuonmpo did not heed their advice.
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