In case you missed it, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was on the 48 Minutes Podcast last week, where he spoke about his future in Milwaukee.
In the cliff notes version of this. Giannis Antetokounmpo said he would leave Milwaukee if he didn’t feel the team’s goal every year was to win championships.
Antetokounmpo made those comments eight days ago, so in today’s world, that’s old news. Not so fast, ESPN First Take, hosted by moderator Molly Qerim and the popular Stephen A. Smith, welcomed Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe on the program. Sharpe’s post-NFL career has been successful as he’s had stints on the NFL on CBS, co-hosted a show called Undisputed on FS1 with Skip Bayless, and now appears on First Take twice a week during the NFL season.
On Wednesday, the debate between Smith and Sharpe was centered around Giannis’ comments from last week, where he said the following on the Podcast.
“I’m a Milwaukee Buck, but more importantly, I’m a winner.” Antetokounmpo said. “I’m a winner. I want to win. And I have to do whatever it takes me to win. And if there’s a better situation for me to win the Larry O’Brien, I have to take that better situation.”
Shannon Sharpe took issue with Giannis’ comments from last week.
Shannon Sharpe’s response to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments from last week.
Shannon Sharpe said the following about Giannis’ comments.
“Adrian Griffin, you got a new coach give him a chance.” Sharpe said. “You gave Mike Budenholzer a chance, and you got your brother occupying two roster spots….
“Are we going to talk about that?” “You know good and well Giannis, your brothers probably not going to be playing for any other team in the NBA except Milwaukee, and that’s only because of you.” “So you keep talking about surrouding you with talent, there is two spots being occupied by your brothers.”
As many Bucks fans quickly pointed out, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s younger brother Alex isn’t on the roster. He was signed to the Wisconsin Herd last season before being signed and waived by the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month.
This take doesn’t make sense because Thanasis occupies one roster spot for the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s not like Giannis is demanding Thanasis to get 25-30 minutes a night. Thanasis being on the team does not affect anything. Name one roster spot where people are like. Hmm, how can we improve our last possible roster spot? You can’t because nobody cares that much.
The importance of having Thansis Antetokounmpo on the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sharpe’s comments illustrate a hypocritical point. Giannis didn’t demand for Thanasis to be on the roster. The Bucks wanted to do right by Giannis by bringing his brother on the roster, so it would be an incentive for Giannis to stay in Milwaukee long-term.
Teams have to fill out a roster, so does that mean the last player on every team in the NBA is a “wasted roster spot,” what players could you find occupying those roster spots could play significant minutes for any organization?
Thanasis is on the squad because he’s Giannis’ closest confidante on gameday, his motivator, and the first person Giannis talks to when he checks out of games.
Thanasis also isn’t a scrub. He has talent and has an unofficial stat of having the most posterizing dunks of any 14th guy on the roster.
What will Thanasis’ role be with the Milwaukee Bucks this season?
Thanasis’ role with the Milwaukee Bucks likely won’t change. The team is filled with talent on the roster, and minutes will be hard to come by for Antetokounmpo this season. However, if Adrian Griffin can carve out a similar role to what Mike Budenholzer did in the 2020-21 season, where he would bring Thanasis in for 30 seconds for defensive purposes. Hopefully, Adrian Griffin will bring that role back for Thanasis this upcoming season.