Josh Oppenheimer Rumors
“Of course he’s changed – he’s a man now, with a family and a lot of responsibility,” said Bucks assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer, who was with the team from 2013-16 and returned this season. “But his core hasn’t changed. And his core is what makes him great, not only as a player but as a man, as a person and as a partner, a father, a son, a brother, a teammate. It’s been amazing to see.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo will joke that it is because he is 26, and now old and weird. But what it is, is the blending of age, the experience of eight-plus seasons and the reaching of his physical prime. “He just sort of keeps pushing and pushing and pushing along and he sees the improvement,” Oppenheimer said. “I see the improvement. And maybe he really grasps it in the playoffs. We talk about all the time, OK you shot this make or miss – that’s a playoff shot. That’s a shot when we play the Heat or we play Toronto or we play whoever and they build a wall and you get to that spot and you’ve got to pull up and shoot it. And maybe the confidence gets there in April. Maybe it’s May.
Ross Geiger, assistant video coordinator: So, Dave & Buster’s. First of all, he would get a sugar high off a Coke or a lemonade. He’d be running around like all the other kids, bumping into kids at times. I was like, “Calm down, we’ll get to the machines.” Josh Oppenheimer, assistant coach: There was this childlike exuberance and innocence to him.
Oppenheimer: I used to joke with him and call him Bambi. “Coach, what is Bambi? Who is Bambi?” Wright: When I first got there, some of the players were talking and one of the coaches said, “Yo, where’s Bambi?” I was like, “Who is Bambi?” Oppenheimer: He was arms and legs and hands and desire. But that was it. Wright: We start practicing and Giannis is out there just clumsy. Ah, that must be Bambi.
Oppenheimer: He has unbelievable confidence but also unbelievable humility. I think he has a great ability to be honest with himself about what he needs to improve at to reach the level he wants to reach. Wright: He introduced himself to me — this was the funniest thing. I said, “What’s up, man? I’m Chris.” He goes, “I’m Giannis. The Greek Freak.” I was laughing like, “Who the hell is the Greek Freak?” He was like, “Me, baby, I’ll show you.” And he flexed.