Former GM: “The teams that try to get multiple max slots are in big markets like New York or Los Angeles. There’s no way in hell that Giannis Antetokounmpo is staying in Milwaukee for his second deal. I would bet everything I own that Giannis leaves Milwaukee.” Two of the agents interviewed for this article also predicted that Antetokounmpo would leave for a different market when it comes time for his next max-level deal.
Evan Flood: Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked on @TheHerd if he'd ever leave Milwaukee should the Lakers come calling: "Honestly, no way. My goal is to win in Milwaukee, bring a championship to the city. I would never leave for LA."
Is that roster good enough to keep up with Philly and Boston? Despite Kidd's revelation (via ESPN's Ramona Shelburne) that Antetokounmpo offered to try to save his job, Kidd's firing will cause no lingering rift between the Bucks and their star, sources close to him say. Nudging up against a hard ceiling every spring might.
To the Bucks’ delight, “all” includes a trait that tantalizes team officials as much as his 60 percent shooting from the field so far, or anything else the league’s hottest individual force does with a basketball in his hands: Antetokounmpo unabashedly loves Milwaukee. It’s a city that, despite a string of successful teams in the 1980s and a squad that fell one win short of the N.B.A. finals in 2001, has never fully shed its “unfashionable” label, which was affixed when the best player in Bucks history — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — forced a trade to the perennially glamorous Los Angeles Lakers in 1975.
“I’m a low-profile guy,” he said. “I don’t like all these flashy cities like L.A. or Miami. I don’t know if I could be the same player if I played in those cities.”
Visitors to Milwaukee, however, quickly discover that it’s no exaggeration to describe Antetokounmpo’s future as the least of the Bucks’ concerns in their bid to become a credible contender for the first time in nearly two decades. It also doesn’t hurt that, by virtue of his speedy ascension to All-N.B.A. status and contention for other top individual honors, Antetokounmpo is on a course to be eligible for a so-called “supermax” contract extension from the Bucks via the league’s new Designated Player Exception during the 2020 off-season, which would put him in line for a new deal well in excess of $200 million.
Wojnarowski: It just shows how hard it is at that mid-size market. There are plenty of small-market owners and mid-size GMs who said, “We didn’t go far enough. I can’t keep guys.” Milwaukee is going to go through this with the Greek Freak. That day is coming, right?, where he’s going to look and say, “Where is this organization? What are they doing here?” You don’t think Giannis has been watching what went on there for the last several months, of what they allowed to go on with the front office? He’s watching it, and the clock has started. Everybody in the league is trying to figure out how they’re going to get him out of there. That has started.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: "Duncan and Kobe my role models. I see guys like Tim Duncan, Kobe, who’ve stayed in the same city and the same team for decades. I don’t like changes in my life. I believe that Milwaukee, as an organization but also as a city in general, can make you a better person as well as a better player. There’s not much to do there other than think about basketball and that’s what I need. I might go to the movies, out for a meal and that’s all. I always end up back in the arena again, where I like and love being. The closest place to my house is our coaching center. A two-minute drive. The best!"
Giannis Antetokounmpo: "I’m not interested in representing a bigger city, or a larger market, that for many people might be more important to the NBA. I want to achieve something similar to what – for example – Tim Duncan has done in San Antonio or Kobe in Los Angeles. To stay for many years, to succeed in Milwaukee and then for young guys that want to play with me to come here and all of us together to share the highest goals."
Q: You're eligible for a contract extension coming up. What are you expecting? By October, you could sign an extension with the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo: "Hopefully. That was what everyone's been working for, for them to extend me. Hopefully, I stay here 20 years and I get my Greek Freak Day like Kobe [Bryant]."
Antetokounmpo will earn $3 million next season in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, but it's no secret that he'll be in line for a massive raise in the 17/18 season. The Bucks can offer him an extension of up to five years starting in July, and based on this week's revised 17/18 cap projection of $107 million, Giannis could earn a first year max salary of up to $25 million. With max raises of 7.5% of the first year salary, a five-year deal from the Bucks could be worth approximately $144 million, thus locking in the Bucks' young star as early as July. Otherwise Giannis would become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017, where the Bucks would have matching rights and other teams could offer up to four years, 4.5% raises and a total package of around $107 million.
May 18, 2022 | 11:07 am EDT Update
While Doncic is fighting to push the Dallas Mavericks to the next level in the playoffs after triumphing over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, Real Madrid is back in Belgrade to compete for the “Undecima.” And Blancos coach Pablo Laso broke down what makes his former wunderkind so special.
“Luka has been a great player since he arrived at Real Madrid when he was 13 years old,” Laso said in the opening presser for the EuroLeague Final Four. “But he’s also been a great person since that day. That made him so big. When people talked about the NBA and how he’s going to play there, I didn’t have any doubts. No doubts that he’s going to play good. Because probably the best thing he has a person, and for sure as a player, is that he’s able to adjust in any situation. And that’s something that you have to have as a person. And Luka has it.”
A Mark Cuban and Lil Wayne feud is one of the main storylines of the NBA playoffs? That seems to be the case as the Mavs owner and famous rapper have exchanged NSFW blows with one another on social media. Cuban’s dog in the fight is that he is obviously the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. However, Lil Wayne was cheering for the Suns and is a friend of Chris Paul. Lil Wayne had previously called out Mavs star Luka Doncic during the Suns and Mavs series.
Cuban responded by referencing a lyric from one of Wayne’s albums after Dallas embarrassed Phoenix in Game 7. “It’s a sh*t show, put you front row.” Lil Wayne responded to Mark Cuban with a now deleted Tweet. However, the message read as follows: “Mark Cuban don’t make me get u smacked boy U playing w me?? I will piss in ya fkn mouth ho.”
May 18, 2022 | 10:54 am EDT Update
But even some of Spoelstra’s closest friends had never seen him like that, not just the emotional outburst in the huddle but the dark brooding he did for the rest of that quarter, almost stopping coaching as he managed the fury. For Butler, three seasons’ worth of give-and-take with Spoelstra finally led to finding the line. It wasn’t just that moment with Butler verbally shoving back at his coach; it was a long buildup. “Spo was exasperated,” one team source said.
Even Butler, who sometimes seems to actually enjoy creating conflict on his team, wondered whether this was a breaking point, sources said. Two days later, after Spoelstra missed a game because of an unrelated personal matter, he returned, reset and ready. Butler was relieved, so was the rest of the team, and everyone started over, because at the end of the day and the end of the season, Butler is worth it. What he brings, especially in a playoff setting, buys him more leeway. It’s the NBA way — always has been, and always will be. It’s a little tougher at times for the Heat, an organization that thrives on holding players to high standards and not being afraid to attack problems, but it’s true just the same.