Giannis worried about Bucks fans burning his jersey if he left team
As Giannis Antetokounmpo contemplated his future before signing a five-year supermax extension worth $228 million this week, one nagging thought apparently crept into his mind: how disgruntled and dejected Milwaukee Bucks fans would respond if he decided against remaining with the team following the upcoming season.
“Just seeing kids walking around with my jersey, that feeling gets stuck with you… Obviously, I’ve seen people decide to leave and they burn their jersey. I didn’t want that to happen to me. But it’s always nice to see kids wear my jerseys.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 17, 2020
– Giannis Antetokounmpo pic.twitter.com/SPloWCbhVW
Now that all the agonizing deliberations are behind him, the two-time NBA MVP revealed during a press conference this week what may have worried him most about his potential departure in free agency.
“Just seeing kids walking around with my jersey, that feeling gets stuck with you… Obviously, I’ve seen people decide to leave and they burn their jersey,” Antetokounmpo said. “I didn’t want that to happen to me. But it’s always nice to see kids wear my jerseys.”
Giannis’ concerns are warranted, as irate fans burning jerseys amid angst over a player leaving a team or committing another transgression is of course a common occurrence in sports.
Antetokounmpo has made it clear this week on numerous occasions that he has a lot of loyalty for Milwaukee and Bucks fans, including in a tweet in which he announced his extension.
This is my home, this is my city.. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it. pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
Interestingly enough, fans also tracked down a tweet from 2017 in which Giannis highlighted his loyalty, perhaps predicting that remaining with the Bucks has long been a priority.
I got loyalty inside my DNA— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) July 7, 2017
Now with the supermax extension official, the Bucks unsurprisingly continue to highlight Giannis’ devotion in a tweet that’s presently pinned atop their Twitter feed.
“I love Milwaukee.” pic.twitter.com/Vh914HyoML— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 15, 2020
Now with clearly committed Antetokounmpo locked in for five more years, the onus is now on the superstar and the team to improve upon its disappointing performances in the playoffs the past few years. Acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans and an overhaul of the team’s bench presumably should help in achieving that goal.