Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Bucks and John Hammond chose me in the draft, got me in the NBA, kept me in the team with a role from my very first season and they are my basketball family. Not only that, but already at this young age, they have enough faith in me as a leader and they are doing everything in order to develop all of my potential. From my side, I feel that I want to be playing in the Bucks. I’m not talking about my next contract. The way I feel now, I want to keep playing for the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 20 years! You never know how life turns out. Three years ago I was thinking that I might be playing for Filathlitikos forever! All of a sudden, the draft emerged, the NBA, the Bucks and everything that followed. I don’t know how I’ll be feeling and thinking in 2, 3 or more years. Right now I feel like I want to play for the Milwaukee Bucks forever.
May 28, 2017 | 2:41 pm EDT Update
But some people wonder whether the Celts will be able to keep all their desired pieces together as Thomas, Avery Bradley and others come up for renewal in this new marketplace. “Yeah, we can fit everybody in,” said Ainge. “But, listen, those are questions that I don’t even have answers for yet. That’s part of the difficult puzzle that is all hard. All I’m saying is those are things I have to worry about that even I don’t like to think about. And I know that those are going to be difficult decisions at some point. But we want to keep Isaiah. All I know is that he’s had an amazing year, and who doesn’t want Isaiah Thomas on their team? Like, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Ainge laughed at public concern that Thomas will be too expensive. “Why do the fans need to worry about how much money he makes?” he said. “I can understand if Isaiah and his wife and his agent are worried about that, but I don’t understand why that’s a conversation that needs to be had in the media.”
“Listen, Isaiah has had one of the most impressive seasons in Celtics history in so many ways with what he was able to accomplish,” Ainge said. “I don’t know why people can’t see that. I don’t know why that then all of a sudden they have to jump to the next question of is he as good as Larry Bird or Bill Russell. Why can’t we just enjoy the fact that he had a great year? I don’t understand the world that we live in. I get asked everywhere I go, ‘Who’s better, Michael Jordan or LeBron James?’ And nobody knows the answer. Everybody has an opinion, but there is no definite answer. They’re both great. Why can’t we just enjoy them both?”