On Sunday, Antetokounmpo celebrated his 26th birthday a…

On Sunday, Antetokounmpo celebrated his 26th birthday as the Bucks began group workouts, with teammates surprising him with pens — indirectly suggesting the decision they want him to reach. “At first, I didn’t get it. Khris [Middleton] came in and gave me a pen, and I was like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’ I was looking at it and thinking about it, and then I realized that he wanted me to sign the contract,” said Antetokounmpo, who is coming off a season in which he joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season. “And it was just like, ‘OK.’ I laughed the first time, I laughed the second time, the third time, and then I got, like, 20 pens. So then it got a little bit old. I’ve got 20 pens in my locker room.”
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“Giannis is the best player in the world. You can see why a lot of people say that,” Celtics guard Jaylen Brown said. “He’s just relentless in his approach. He is aggressive all the time. He’s not going to be denied. And that was tough for us in the series.” Antetokounmpo finished the semifinals with back-to-back 20-point, 20-rebound games. He had 44 points and 20 rebounds in Game 6, and 25 points and 20 rebounds with 9 assists in Game 7. And they were both losses. Antetokounmpo joined Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to lose consecutive postseason games with a 20-20, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Antetokounmpo started off hot on Sunday, going 6-for-10 in the first half for 17 points before he appeared to get fatigued while struggling down the stretch. He shot just 4 of 16 in the second half with 8 points as the Celtics pulled away after halftime. “Legs heavy. Body heavy. Mind heavy. Everything was heavy,” Antetokounmpo said with a smile after the game. “I was just trying to be aggressive. At the end of the day, it’s Game 7 and I’m not going to hold the ball and not look at the rim, I’d rather miss a bunch of shots and keep playing and keep coming and keep being aggressive. Keep looking for my teammates and keep making the right plays then go in passive mode. I can live with that.”