Giannis Antetokounmpo: Hopefully, I can play 20 years with the Bucks

·7 min read

At the mere mention of another decade of basketball though, Antetokounmpo interjected. “No, I want to play 20 years,” Antetokounmpo said, repeating one of his goals. “Hopefully, I can play all 20 of those years with the Bucks. “But we’ll see, I can’t predict the future, but that (pointing to the list), that’s a compliment. Being (No.) 24 and I just turned 27. That’s all my hard work that has paid off. But I gotta — we just lost — I gotta keep going. I gotta keep improving as a player. I gotta keep enjoying the game. Gotta stay in the moment, live in the moment and where it’s going to end up when I’m done with it and I’m done with the league and out of the league, who knows. “That’s a compliment. I can take that right there and talk about it, show it to my kids.”
Source: Eric Nehm @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
On Saturday, @Giannis Antetokounmpo took me through all nine of his NBA seasons.
Year-by-year, he broke down the thoughts and feelings going through his head and heart as he tried to find his way in the league.
Giannis’ journey in his own words, at @TheAthletic: theathletic.com/3073534/2022/0…11:08 AM

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
Nicolas Batum dribbles once and drops all 32 points in the second half — then graciously credits a hot Coffey for getting him open and (jokingly) congratulates Giannis, Steph and Jaylen for joining him in the 30-points-in-one-half club.
ocregister.com/2022/01/17/nic…10:21 AM

Vivek Jacob @vivekmjacob
Precious Achiuwa has really showcased his defensive upside the last couple games. His lateral quickness and consistency with vertical contests has stood out.
Here are some defensive highlights against Giannis, Bam, and Jimmy. pic.twitter.com/5kAk8knZcm10:01 AM

David Aldridge @davidaldridgedc
We continue our countdown of the top 75 players in NBA history, as voted on by our staff at @TheAthletic, with Number 24:
Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Our @Eric Nehm on the two-time NBA MVP, and ’21 Finals MVP, whose meteoric rise continues to inspire: bit.ly/3Ac46fm9:03 AM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
De’Andre Hunter on Onyeka Okongwu:
“He plays a lot bigger than he looks. I make fun of him all the time, saying he’s only 6-5, but he plays really hard. He’s a lot stronger than he looks and he’s really athletic… He did a hell of a job today (on Giannis).” – 10:56 PM

Sarah K. Spencer @sarah_k_spence
Onyeka Okongwu on his mindset guarding Giannis:
“I’m always going to play physical. I’m always going to do what I do, be aggressive, physical, foul if I need to. I don’t back down to anybody. That’s how it’s always been. How it always will be. That’s the type of player I am.” – 9:32 PM

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
In the span of a month:
1) Onyeka Okongwu came back from a long-term injury absence.
2) Played a great game in a Hawks’ win guarding Joel Embiid.
3) Got COVID and came back saying, “COVID messed me up.”
4)Played a great game in a Hawks’ win guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo. – 9:13 PM

Jason Walker @JasonWalkerNBA
Okongwu line: 6-8, 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 36 minutes where he stuck with Giannis on a 8-20 night for the MVP. Big performance! – 9:05 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
The Nuggets are one game behind the Bucks in the loss column. If Giannis isn’t knocked out of the MVP race because of record, Jokic can’t be either.
Granted, I assume Milwaukee goes on a run when they get healthy, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify ignoring Jokic. – 8:44 PM

Jason Walker @JasonWalkerNBA
Okongwu closing and impacting the game with his defense, screensets, and overall basketball acumen, has been the difference. Even Gallo out here getting charging calls on Giannis! – 8:34 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
Pat Connaughton has always been a good screener, but he’s really figured out the intricacies of slipping and flipping and changing the angle as the screener for Giannis Antetokounmpo in the pick and roll.
Fun to watch. – 7:38 PM

Jim Owczarski @JimOwczarski
Three players have reached double figures for the #Hawks, but Khris Middleton has 23 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo has 16 and the #Bucks lead 72-62 with 6:51 to go in the third quarter. – 7:33 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
Earlier tonight, @SethPartnow texted me something like, “What are the Hawks doing with their help defenders at the top of the floor when Giannis has the ball?”
They just left Middleton open for a catch-and-shoot 3 on the left wing in the second half. Didn’t fix it at halftime. – 7:29 PM

Jim Owczarski @JimOwczarski
#Bucks lead 54-46 with 2:55 to go in the half. They’re doing a good job of not letting Trae Young find a ton of space – he’s got nine points on 4 of 8 shooting. Kevin Huerter is 2-for-10 and John Collins is 2-for-7.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (14) and Khris Middleton (12) lead MKE. – 6:57 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
That’s a ridiculous pass by Antetokounmpo. Whip pass out of the double team for the 3Vincenzo.
And DiVincenzo hit another one on the next possession. And @ZoraStephenson never said 3Vincenzo. Disappointing. – 6:45 PM

The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
BULLY BALL from Giannis 😳
pic.twitter.com/FrMxaKcTg76:32 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
Middleton just has to be better in those situations.
When he’s on the floor without Antetokounmpo, teams are going to double and trap him in the pick-and-roll. He has to be stronger with the ball or get off of it quicker. – 6:26 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
Oh my gosh, Giannis.
That is a poster. – 6:23 PM

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
That leakout by Giannis might be the Hawks’ best transition defensive play of the season (albeit the high point of a low bar).
Collins and Hunter got an attentive double to seal him off quickly. – 6:16 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving was discussing his injury in the second round of last year’s playoffs used air quotes when saying Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot “just happened to be in the way.” – 6:09 PM

Kevin Chouinard @KLChouinard
Would not be shocked to see Danilo Gallinari used some on Giannis tonight with Capela out.
Nate just talked about what he would need from his “4s and 5s”. – 4:23 PM

More on this storyline

In the end Giannis decided to stay in Milwaukee because it was difficult. And then, improbably, the Bucks won. “One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did,” he told me. “It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What’s the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.” It’s not that he doesn’t love Milwaukee, he said. But he was always wary of things becoming too easy. “Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us—for now,” Giannis said. “In two years, that might change. I’m being totally honest with you. I’m always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible.” -via GQ.com / November 16, 2021

“I don’t think it’s, ‘I’m thinking about leaving the Bucks,’ ” Saratsis told me. “But I think he’s genuinely like: ‘Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let’s repeat.’ But what happens if you do repeat? What’s the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything,” Saratsis said. “So sometimes you’re going to have to manufacture what those challenges are.” -via GQ.com / November 16, 2021

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