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Not Going Anywhere...

Photo from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

To everyone who thought 2x MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was done with the Milwaukee Bucks, it's safe to say that he isn't going anywhere for awhile. Giannis just signed a full five-year, $228 million supermax contract, which includes an opt-out after the fourth year. That's a lot of money, making this the largest contract of NBA history. Giannis put out multiple social media posts to reassure his fans and city that he isn't going anywhere and that Milwaukee is “ home, this is my city,” and keeping all spirits high by proclaiming how “the show goes on, let's get it.” Many viewers and NBA fans began to believe he wanted out considering all he kept gaining was a personal success, not gaining any triumph as a team. If Giannis decided to pass up this offer, next summer he would've been an unrestricted free agent, along with being the most talented and popular player to be on the market since 2016 with Kevin Durant. Giannis has had a spectacular career, especially in the most recent seasons. This past season Antetokounmpo became the third player in NBA history to win MVP and DPOTY in the same season, this list consists of Micheal Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and now Giannis Antetokounmpo. Along with those great rewards he averaged a career-high with 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. A common trend we have seen with the Bucks is their capability to reach the NBA Finals, even though they obtained the best record in the league the past two seasons. In the 2019-2020 season, they had a lot of trouble competing with Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat during round 2 in the NBA Bubble, as they lost the series 4-1, making viewers create many questions of what the Bucks are capable of accomplishing. The Bucks have yet to reach the NBA Finals since star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974, who wanted out from the Bucks soon after. Abdul-Jabbar actually gave his opinion on Giannis situation with Milwaukee by saying how he, “thinks Antetokounmpo should look into his own heart and make a decision based on what’s important to him and his professional life,” which could be implying his suggestion to Giannis to take a leave from Milwaukee. Let's go back to the start of his career and reflect on his time in the NBA thus far, Antetokounmpo was the No.15 draft pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Giannis was born in Greece which explains his nickname the “Greek Freak.” In his rookie season, he started 23 games only averaging 6.8 points. This changed quickly when he began averaging 16.9 points in his third year while earning Most Improved Player Honors. The year after began his first appearance as an NBA All-Star. The Bucks made the postseason 3 out of the first five years with Giannis, but couldn't make it far as they were eliminated in the first round each time. In 2018-2019 Giannis was named the league's MVP, which wouldn't be his last time. Every season Antetokounmpo kept improving his personal stats as he was mostly focused on winning a championship. Giannis has possessed great energy and sportsmanship since he's been in the league, but his flame and drive only gets stronger with time as he explains how “It's simple. You've got to be better than what you were last year. If you did not win the whole thing, you've got to get better,” and how "If you win the whole thing, you've got to get better and do it again." This past offseason actually got a lot of teams and fans talking about a potential landing spot for 2x MVP Giannis, teams began opening up cap space, but the Bucks were determined to coax Giannis into staying by creating a strong supporting cast. It clearly worked and Milwaukee nation couldn't be more excited, co-owners Jamie Dinan, Marc Lasry, and Wes Edens express their excitement by announcing how "Giannis positively impacts everyone around him on and off the court and he brings a staggering dedication to winning and leadership to our organization. His work ethic and desire to be the best epitomize what the Bucks stand for and what our future holds.” As for the Bucks' new additions, before the free agency, they acquired Jrue Holiday, a former all-star from the New Orlean Pelicans, along with creating more depth by the additions of Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig, and D.J. Augustin. On draft night the Bucks also secured rookie Jordan Nwora who they seemed very excited about, both Giannis and teammate Khris Middleton both welcomed Nwora with a greeting text making sure he knew the main goal of this organization, and that is a championship. Even though a lot of people wanted Giannis out, and to start a new beginning elsewhere he made is clear that Milwaukee is exactly where he wants to be, validating himself and Bucks fans by expressing that "I [Giannis Antetokounmpo] know that we've gotten better each year, and I know that Milwaukee has great people that view every year the same I do every year, which is to play well, improve and win it all."

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