Giannis Antetokounmpo refutes quotes about future with Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo has refuted remarks that seemed to hint that signing a long-term deal with the Milwaukee Bucks could be hamstrung should the team underperform this season.
Comments from Antetokounmpo for a Harvard Business School case study recently shared by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel appeared to ominously hint that the reigning MVP would consider leaving the Bucks in a worst-case scenario.
“I want the Bucks to build a winning culture,” Antetokounmpo said in the case study. “So far, we have been doing great, and, if this lasts, there’s no other place I want to be. But if we’re underperforming in the NBA next year, deciding whether to sign becomes a lot more difficult.”
Antetokounmpo’s comments unsurprisingly created a stir, as he has consistently stated in the past that he wants to remain in Milwaukee for the long haul.
As relayed by Eric Nehm of The Athletic, Antetokounmpo claims to have never made the comment that ignited the controversy.
“As I’ve said there’s going to be a lot of stories that are going to come out. I think everybody knows how sensitive this timing is. They’re going to come out with a bunch of stories and all that. My girlfriend Mariah asked me yesterday. She said, ‘Did you actually say this?’ I said, ‘If you’re going to read the last quote, I’ve never used those words in my life.'”
Whether or not Antetokounmpo’s latest comments are an effort at damage control or truly represent his take on the situation obviously is subject to interpretation. All that aside, it would be hardly surprising for a player entering his prime to want to be assured that his team is set up for success before putting pen to paper on a long-term contract.
In that regard, Antetokounmpo, had he made the comments, arguably would have only been articulating an understandable outlook ahead of one of the most important decisions of his career.