There is a multimillion greenback query looming over the NBA that solely Giannis Antetokounmpo has the reply to.
Nonetheless, the Bucks famous person did not put to mattress any hypothesis on his long-term future in Milwaukee on Wednesday, as an alternative saying he’ll put religion in his agent and the workforce’s entrance workplace to achieve a possible supermax contract extension.
“I am not centered on that,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “I do know my agent, Alex (Saratsis), and (Bucks normal supervisor) Jon Horst and the Bucks possession are specializing in these discussions, however I am simply making an attempt to give attention to myself. How I can get higher, how I may help my teammates get higher, how can we be prepared Saturday to play our first preseason sport.”
Antetokounmpo has till Dec. 21 to signal a five-year, $228 million supermax extension.
On Wednesday, he would not go into the small print of his course of, though he admitted that “it is most likely one of many large selections that I am gonna make.” He may play out the season in Milwaukee and enter free company as an unrestricted free agent subsequent summer season or he may signal the identical take care of the Bucks subsequent offseason.
One factor is for certain: The communication he is had along with his agent will stay non-public.
“I take into consideration every part,” he mentioned. “I take into consideration Milwaukee. I take into consideration my teammates. I take into consideration my household. I take into consideration what’s the very best resolution for me, however that is just about it. Then after that I understand that I’ve received to date as a result of I’ve centered on how I can enhance each single day.
“I really like the town of Milwaukee. I really like the group. I really like my household to dying. I really like profitable, however on the finish of the day, I would not be on this scenario if I wasn’t working laborious, I wasn’t profitable video games, I wasn’t enhancing a day by day and I did not have this mentality.
“So, I am unable to change who I’m, I can not change this mentality, and I am gonna give attention to enhancing and day-to-day every part’s gonna deal with itself. You guys most likely are gonna know what is going on on earlier than I do. That is what often occurs. You guys know greater than me.”
On Sunday, he celebrated his twenty sixth birthday because the Bucks started group exercises, with teammates shocking him with pens — not directly stating their intentions on the choice they need him to achieve.
“At first, I did not get it. Khris (Middleton) got here in and gave me a pen and I used to be like, ‘Whoa, what is that this?’ I used to be it and excited about it after which I spotted that he wished me to signal the contract,” mentioned Antetokounmpo, who’s coming off a season wherein he joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the one gamers in league historical past to win MVP and Defensive Participant of the Yr awards in the identical season. “And it was similar to, ‘OK.’ I laughed the primary time, I laughed the second time, the third time after which I received like 20 pens. So, then it received a little bit bit outdated. I’ve received 20 pens in my locker room.”
Coming into the 2019-20 season, “The Greek Freak” additionally averted all free company discuss on Media Day, calling it “disrespectful in direction of my teammates speaking about my free company and what I am going by means of.” His method wasn’t a lot totally different Wednesday, as he mentioned he’d moderately hold all questions basketball-related transferring ahead as a result of “the reply remains to be going to be the identical.”
“I am not making an attempt to hurry up the method, I am not making an attempt to be concerned in that,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “Clearly, it is one thing that stresses each participant out and it is on my thoughts, nevertheless it’s not on my thoughts. I attempt to put it out of my thoughts.”
Regardless of having the NBA’s greatest regular-season report the previous two years, Milwaukee has but to achieve the NBA Finals for the reason that 1973-74 marketing campaign. The Bucks added a brand new forged of gamers in latest weeks, buying former All-Star level guard Jrue Holiday by way of commerce, whereas including Torrey Craig, D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis. They’re additionally bringing again all-NBA Defensive Second Group middle Brook Lopez with guards Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo, who seemingly will probably be part of the beginning 5 throughout his third season.
“All the blokes we received, they may help the workforce,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “They will defend, however having Vacation on the workforce is large time. He is an awesome chief, he is an awesome human being, he can defend, he can rating the ball. He’ll deliver that edge on this workforce that we want.”
Milwaukee was eradicated in 5 video games by the Miami Heat within the Jap Convention semifinals within the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. This season, Antetokounmpo would not put any further stress on himself or the workforce.
“I do not imagine it is a championship-or-bust scenario,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “Clearly, everyone desires to win a championship, I need to win a championship. There’s no person that desires to win a championship greater than me. I can assure you that, however there’s steps to that. You have to hold enhancing. You have to hold getting higher and hopefully we are able to get there this 12 months.”