According to Bleacher Report, the Milwaukee Bucks are losing confidence that the two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will sign with them long-term. This news comes as no surprise after a failed sign-and-trade attempt for newly acquired Atlanta Hawk Bogdan Bogdanovic. Losing out on that deal was a huge step back for Milwaukee, but they shouldn’t panic about Giannis just yet.
They’ve just gotta win now.
Bogdan was Giannis’ “preferred addition” this offseason.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 26, 2020
He admired the European’s toughness and swagger and viewed him as someone you “could go to war with in the postseason.”
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Every team in the NBA worries about losing its star players. In the current era of “player movement,” unhappy stars often want to pack their bags and move to a more competitive team. Star players think, “If we don’t win an NBA title, or at least get close, I’m not the problem–the team is.” That’s the purpose for all this player movement in the first place. Some of it may be unhappy superstars stuck with inept front offices, but for the most part, it’s players refusing to accept the blame for losing. Even the Los Angeles Lakers admitted that there was urgency to win a title to keep Anthony Davis happy.
So the Bucks’ situation is rather common. Now, they simply need to win a title to keep the Greek Freak happy. He’ll leave if they don’t, but then he would have left anyway. That’s the deal in today’s NBA.
Giannis knows if the Bucks win, he’ll get all the credit. If they don’t, he’ll be in the “Carmelo Anthony/James Harden” conversation, players known for elite talent without any ability to win. Some of these players don’t deserve the label, but they have it nonetheless. No team loyalty can overpower the stench of being a “loser.”
Giannis is going to sign his extension, so let’s calm down
Why worry when Giannis is still going to sign his super-max extension with the Bucks? He’ll sign on long-term because his deal will land him between $220-$250 million, according to Bleacher Report. That’s money no other team can offer. The NBA devised a salary structure to make sure that teams can afford to keep the athletes they draft.
For smaller markets like Milwaukee, winning becomes a major reason why players elect to stay. Aside from money, there are few other perks. There are no Instagram models hanging out in Wisconsin, and there are no Warner Bros studios across the street from the Bucks’ facility. A culture of winning needs to come to life before a player like Giannis packs his bags for more luxurious pastures. It’s easier to fall short in the conference finals when you still see your face plastered in Times Square.
It’s time for the Bucks and their fans to quit being paranoid about losing a star like Giannis and to start winning. Not only will winning keep Giannis in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future, it will also mean a world championship NBA title for the team and the city. And that would be nice too.