Giannis Antetokounmpo says he was misquoted about future with Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo said:
That quote came via Harvard professor Anita Elberse, who was researching the challenges small-market teams face in the NBA, particularly with superstar players.
But Antetokounmpo – who has repeatedly touted his loyalty – tells another story.
Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Giannis refuted the quote attributed to him in the Harvard Business School case study. Said his girlfriend asked him yesterday if he really said that. “If you kind of read the last quote, I’ve never used those words in my life,” he responded.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) October 24, 2019
If the interview was recorded, we’ll likely learn the truth soon enough.
But the hysteria surrounding the quote is so misplaced, regardless.
What Antetokounmpo is quoted as saying is so painstakingly obvious. The Bucks underperforming next season would make him more likely to leave Milwaukee? Duh.
Antetokounmpo has also said something very similar previously. In explaining his views on loyalty and Kevin Durant, Antetokounmpo said a team must do right to support a player in his quest for a championship.
Really, the Bucks should be encouraged by how Antetokounmpo framed the issue. It shows Antetokounmpo’s default position is staying. The difficult decision comes if Milwaukee underperforms. My inference: Meet or exceed expectations, and Antetokounmpo will return. Even underperforming doesn’t guarantee a departure.
No matter what he told the Harvard professor, the Bucks are headed toward Antetokounmpo’s contract decision. The best case they can make is winning. Nobody should need a quote to figure that out.