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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Super-max drama ‘gave me a headache all summer’

Michael Holley and Michael Smith explain why Giannis Antetokounmpo's super-max contract to stay with the Bucks is a victory for small-market teams throughout the NBA.

Following LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis… Giannis Antetokounmpo took his turn in the NBA-superstar-speculation spotlight before signing his super-max extension with the Bucks.

He didn’t love the experience.


It gave me a headache all summer. People asking me and people talking about me – I just want to be left alone. I knew what I wanted in my head. I knew that it goes to winning a championship, and I knew that, here, we have a chance to win a championship.

Antetokounmpo could have signed the extension any day since Nov. 22. Instead, he waited until the final week he was eligible, even doing an uncomfortable press conference before inking the deal. I don’t understand why he delayed.

But the most important thing was him actually signing, whenever it happened.

Milwaukee is definitely a championship contender, and Antetokounmpo’s extension should help the cause. Constant chatter about his future – whether he’d leave in 2021 free agency and even trade talk – could have consumed him and the Bucks this season. Now, they can more easily focus on basketball.