Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reigning NBA MVP, but he’s already putting it firmly in the rearview mirror.
The city of Milwaukee celebrated Antetokounmpo’s MVP award on Sunday, with roughly 20,000 fans crowding around Fiserv Forum to hear the star forward speak. When he did, he made an unusual request of the Milwaukee crowd: he doesn’t want to hear himself called MVP until he wins it again next year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is on stage addressing the crowd. “After this day, please don’t call me the MVP until I win it again next year,” he said.
Antetokounmpo has demonstrated a mentality that he wants to keep improving and looking forward, not back. Ultimately, the Bucks fell short of their ultimate goal of an NBA title, losing to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s the big goal for Giannis, and he wants to do it with Milwaukee as well.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign the richest contract in NBA history next summer, and it sounds like he is planning to do just that if the Milwaukee Bucks make the offer and the team remains competitive.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported during the playoffs back in May that Giannis may be convinced to sign a contract extension next year if the Bucks make it to the NBA Finals. While speaking with ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk at the PUBG MOBILE Team Up Superstar Showdown event over the weekend, Antetokounmpo seemed to indicate that is accurate. The reigning MVP said his ultimate goal is to win a championship, and he fully intends to remain with the Bucks as long as they share that same level of commitment.
“As long as that we are all on the same page and we are all focused on that goal, why not play for the Bucks 20 years, why not play 25 years?” he asked. “Why not, after playing, be a member of the coaching staff or a member of the front office? But we got to have the same goal. We got to have the same principles. … We got to focus on winning a championship.”
Giannis reiterated that he wants to be part of a winning team, and he said he would love to take the same career path as superstars like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan if the Bucks find sustained success.
“As long as we have the same mindset and same approach to the game, there’s no reason for me to move and not be like Steph [Curry], not like be like Dirk [Nowitzki] or Kobe [Bryant] or Tim Duncan,” he added.
The contract Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign next summer has some truly eye-popping figures, but he has the potential to own the NBA after LeBron James retires. The supermax exists to give teams like the Bucks a chance to keep their star players, and it may end up working the way it is intended to in this instance.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign a supermax contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks after he completes his seventh NBA season next year, and the reigning NBA MVP is going to make an unprecedented amount of money if the team makes that type of commitment to him.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks broke down what a supermax contract is expected to look like next summer. Based on the current projected salary cap increase, a supermax deal for Antetokounmpo would average more than $50 million per year over five years.
Here is the breakdown of the Giannis Antetokounmpo supermax extension that he is eligible to sign in the summer of 2020:
Giannis is obviously a once-in-a-generation talent, but almost every team in the NBA would have to think long and hard about writing that type of check. The Bucks would still be in a position to offer Giannis significantly more money than any other team with a regular max contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 season, but he’s likely going to want all of the money he’s entitled to.
As we’ve seen with the way the Kemba Walker situation is unfolding in Charlotte, some teams simply don’t want to risk crippling themselves by having a supermax player on their roster. The Hornets were actually nowhere near offering supermax money to Walker, which isn’t a surprise. He’s not in the same class as Giannis.
If Antetokounmpo does sign the supermax deal, he would become the highest-paid player in NBA history.
Giannis Antetokounmpo really nailed it with his acceptance speech upon winning NBA MVP on Monday night.
The Greek Freak was the runaway winner of the award, winning it easily over James Harden, who was the only other player to receive first-place votes. Giannis’ MVP speech really could not have been better.
The Milwaukee Bucks star got emotional as he went through thanking people, especially his family.
Giannis Antetokounmpo displayed some uncharacteristic behavior after his Milwaukee Bucks’ season came to an end on Saturday night.
The Bucks star had 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks in his team’s 100-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Antetokounmpo attended his postgame press conference and answered plenty of questions from the media. However, he exited abruptly during the press conference after a question from ESPN’s Malika Andrews directed to him and Khris Middleton:
Giannis left the postgame press conference abruptly after fielding a question about the Bucks' experience. pic.twitter.com/0uAtlX3McF
Some are wondering whether Antetokounmpo did not like the question from Andrews about experience. Our suspicion is that he didn’t want to answer a question from Andrews after she published an article the moment the season ended about him potentially leaving Milwaukee in the future.
Antetokounmpo is a widely respected and liked figure in the NBA. This sort of behavior from him is unusual but may have its roots in an untimely article.
Milwaukee’s rise to prominence in the Eastern Conference has largely been due to the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo as a star.
Antetokounmpo has gone from being a second-team All-Rookie member to becoming a finalist for NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year this season. The Bucks have him under contract for two more seasons but would like to extend him for even longer. How they fare next season reportedly will have a big impact on that situation.
Antetokounmpo made first-team All-NBA this season, which was his second season in a row being named to an All-NBA team. The honor qualified him for the supermax contract extension next summer, one that would give him the largest contract in NBA history.
If Antetokoumpo wants to, he would be able to sign a five-year, $247.3 million deal next summer, one that would keep him under contract with the Bucks for the next seven seasons.
The Bucks had the best record in the regular season and came up short in the conference finals. They’re close to reaching the NBA Finals, and you can bet Antetokounmpo will be chasing that pursuit hard this offseason.