In an effort to keep their star in Milwaukee, the Bucks are expected to offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a supermax contract this summer. “Is he a client you could see staying with one team for his whole career?” asked Zervakis. “Yeah, I think so. Obviously everybody talks about his impending free agency, and I think everything is open,” Saratsis said. “I think he’s someone who could easily say, ‘I’d like to be in Milwaukee my entire career.’ I think he’s also someone who, depending on how the team does, could say, ‘I need a change.’ But for him, staying is absolutely a viable option.”
"I remember one of his first games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and it must not have even been 1/3 full," Saratsis said. He acknowledged Giannis probably missed out on some endorsement opportunities playing in one of the NBA's smaller markets, but he said that problem evaporated as Giannis became one of the NBA's best players. "He's not a local superstar, he's not a national superstar, he's a global superstar," Saratsis said.
"He came in as an 18-year old kid who didn't speak the language," Saratsis said. "If you think about it, he grew up and is growing up to be a man in the City of Milwaukee. I think he's always going to appreciate that." "Giannis believes in loyalty, he believes in the people who've been there with him from the beginning, and I think he feels that kinship to the city because they have really helped raise him," he said.
Eric Woodyard: Coach Mike Budenholzer on if Giannis’ free agency wears on team: “I don’t know maybe there’s more than I realize but he seems in a great place, the group’s in a great place and we’ll hopefully keep it rolling.”
Bucks general manager John Hammond: "There was a max number out there, and that was discussed, discussed internally and externally. And the one thing we asked Giannis to do was take that into consideration as we move forward. Give us every opportunity. We want to become a championship-level team. There’s going to be guys and guys who have done that, players who have given back some. And it’s a little bit of the time, as we move forward, hopefully we’re going to have other guys with the organization willing to do that. Those small pieces can turn into a bigger chunk at some point."
“I want to thank my family for everything they have done all these years and for giving me the opportunity to be here,” said Giannis. “This contract will provide security for them and for my younger brothers. I also want to thank my agents, the Bucks’ owners and the coaching staff for trusting in my talent. ”
“To be honest with you I don’t really feel any of it”, he added when asked if his new contract adds more pressure on him. “I am the only one who can put big pressure on myself. I will continue doing what I’ve done all these years. I will keep working hard and put pressure on myself because I want to be great. I also I want to make my team great, I want to make them a winning team. This is a big step for me and I want to show that I am a leader on and off the court.”
Jason Kidd mentioned that: “I know his character. His biggest motivation is basketball itself. He wants to become a top NBA player who will succeed with the Bucks. That’s what he’s thinking about. He is dedicated and works hard to improve everyday.”
Giannis was spared the blue-chip American system of pampering. He’s been about the work with the Bucks, unrelenting since the moment he arrived in the NBA. He lived through horrific poverty and family illness and the most rudimentary of basketball infrastructures in Greece. Within the shadows of the Acropolis, out on the sidewalks of downtown Athens, Giannis sold pencils and trinkets and plastic sunglasses. For hours and hours as young teens, Giannis and his old brother, Thanasis, had to push themselves to raise money for the dinner table. On the way home, they stopped at the market and grabbed the essentials. Their father worked two jobs, and their mother had a stretch of illness. “We would be out on the street together, selling a toy, a watch, something, and we’d raise $10,” Thanasis told me once. “And that is good, because we didn’t starve today. We’re going to go home. We’re going to have something to eat. And it is a good day.”
Inside that modest suburban apartment three years ago, Giannis was a rookie awaiting the arrival of his family to the United States. Visa problems still hadn’t cleared the way for his parents and three younger siblings to leave Greece and come to Wisconsin. He had walked me through his three-bedroom apartment, where he had bedspreads and sheets neatly tucked and prepared on beds for his family’s arrival. He had purchased a PlayStation, but felt such guilt enjoying it without his younger brother Kosta – now a freshman at the University of Dayton – Giannis sold it to a Bucks assistant coach for the $399 he had paid to purchase it.
Once the Antetokounmpo family arrived in Wisconsin, the Bucks did a marvelous job of making it feel a part of everything there. When it was time to get an extension done this month, Giannis never considered the possibility of messing around as a restricted free agent in 2017. Hammond had always gone the distance for him – all the way back to when he scouted him in Greece – and Giannis has never talked about bigger markets, brighter lights.
The Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Giannis Antetokounmpo on a contract extension, General Manager John Hammond announced today. The contract will be finalized tomorrow afternoon at a press conference to be held at the recently-launched Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center (WESC) Preview Center.
Brian Windhorst: Bucks 4-year, $100 million extension with Giannis Antetokounmpo is for less than the max & there are no options, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has agreed on a four-year, $100M contract extension, league sources tell @The Vertical.
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 21, 2022 | 6:32 am EDT Update
The Lakers may be willing to take that leap of faith because Ham spent two years with the organization. His personality isn’t easily forgotten. Ham brings a lot of energy to a gym. He’s arguably the best fit for the locker room, with veterans like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and possibly Russell Westbrook in need of a coach they can relate to and respect. “He’s the guy LeBron wants,” a competing source said. It will be up to Ham to spell out his basketball vision, in general and in context to the Lakers’ roster makeup. He could be the hire if he can sell that side to the team’s front office.
Stotts may be the opposite of Vogel, a high-level defensive coach with a limited offensive repertoire. If Stotts is the hire, the Lakers should pair him with a high-level lead defensive assistant. Some sources wondered if Stotts would struggle, like Vogel, to command the locker room’s respect, although he worked well with Lillard for a long stretch.
He also has a reputation for being a bit headstrong or rigid in personality. He’s going to demand respect, but he’s going to need to clarify precisely why he and the Nets divorced in-season. Is he the right coach for star players with strong personalities like James? Atkinson may have the most outside-the-box style of the three finalists. Per a competing source, he’s similar to Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, willing to experiment with unconventional strategies to win by whatever means necessary.
Donatas Urbonas: Vasilije Micic on the possibility to go to the NBA next season: “I’m in a situation where I have two more years of the contract no matter what happens. But of course, I like to look at all kinds of challenges. If this option comes out, I would be ready to risk.”
The Warriors came back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Warriors now have a 2-0 advantage in the series. The first two quarters of the game were owned by the Mavericks. They hit 15 3-pointers in the first half, setting a new franchise record for 3s made in a playoff half. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson became the second pair of starting guards to each score 20 points in the first half of a playoff game in the past 25 seasons. “I told them that if we developed some poise in the second half, the game would come to us,” Kerr said. “But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Maybe emotionally more so than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us. We felt confident that if we [got poised], they wouldn’t make 15 3s in the second half.”
On defense, Looney held the Mavericks to 1-of-11 shooting from the field as the primary defender, including holding Doncic to 0-of-3. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Looney is accustomed to being switched onto guards like Doncic. During the Warriors’ dynastic runs, he was switched onto James Harden when Golden State faced Houston multiple times during the postseason. “I take kind of the same approach,” Looney said. “I’m just a little bit more battle-tested. That was my first time playing on a big stage like this. I don’t know if even my teammates had the most faith in me, but they put me out there and I handled it pretty well.
Clutch Points: The Golden State Warriors are 14-1 in playoff series under Steve Kerr when they take a 2-0 lead. Their lone series loss came vs. the Cavs in the 2016 NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/f4Yq6h6zoN