Yahoo Sports NBA reporters Jake Fischer and Dan Devine hop on the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast to discuss Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments about potentially leaving Milwaukee, and debate just how realistic it could be that Giannis walks away.
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JAKE FISCHER: We have Giannis Antetokounmpo telling the new York times last week that quote, “winning a championship comes first. I don’t want to be 20 years on the same team and don’t win another championship”. Dan, this type of quote is the type of quote that August is made for that leads talk shows across the nation and short video segments like ours. So what was your reaction upon hearing this newsy tidbit?
DAN DEVINE: Giannis didn’t have to say this. Like, Giannis is fully under contract with the Bucks for the next two seasons with a player option for 2025/2026. Like, this doesn’t have to be a topic of conversation right now. Or if it is, it can be– you know, some of the of what he had said, like, it doesn’t make financial sense for me to make the extension now.
You know, salary cap is going to keep rising, and I can do this next summer and get like an extra year at a higher salary or whatever. If he wanted to do– and he spoke about some of that in the interview, but it’s basically him– him keeping his foot on the throat of the Bucks management, right? Like, this is the the aftermath of, or the world we live in following the Lebron James, kind of vulgar display of power in Miami and Cleveland and so on and so forth.
Like, when you have one of these guys, you are always recruiting them. Even when you are paying them max money, you have to continue recruiting them. This summer they go and they had really no option but to re-sign Brook Lopez, re-sign Khris Middleton, even though it puts them in line for big tax penalties because this is the cost of doing business with one of these superstars.
And then Giannis comes around and says, like, also, just so you know, FYI, that’s not necessarily good enough. And so it led me to thinking like this is Giannis staking– basically like staking out a position. You will continue to do everything you can to keep me happy because if I’m not happy, I’m not necessarily just going to stay here for loyalty sake.
JAKE FISCHER: I don’t think this is like a James Harden, Daryl Morey [INAUDIBLE], shoot some shots across the bow. And I’m going to say some things publicly that you don’t know is coming. So yes, it’s a candid moment that I’m sure Bucks fans and some people of Milwaukee probably would have not loved Giannis to say. But also, this has been something on their minds since that summer in 2020 when he did take month after month after month waiting until the final, you know, basically the last second to sign that extension because he does want to win.
Giannis is 100% one of the superstars in this league that is most motivated by winning. I do think he wants to be in Milwaukee. I do think he wants to win those championships in Milwaukee. So if they’re able to do that, if they’re able to put themselves in a position that they’re not losing to Miami in the first round and they are in the Western– or in the eastern conference finals, excuse me– pretty much every year, like they basically have been. I think this will be fine, but when someone like Giannis does kind of throw that out there and leaves it dangling, yeah, it’s really interesting bait not just for people like you and I to talk about, but for plenty of other teams around the league to really raise their eyebrows and hope that maybe he will become available sometime soon.
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