Milwaukee Bucks' Giannnis Antetokounmpo is intent on getting better
After a historic championship run, Giannis is setting his sights even higher.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is back to the court this week and it seems he just can't wait.
The Milwaukee Bucks have to stay hungry
After more than two months, one could be forgiven for not immediately recalling the historic NBA 2021 Champions, Milwaukee Bucks. Some might even say that with that title, they enjoyed their '15 minutes' and that's that. Yet for star player Giannis Antetokounmpo that's precisely the problem. The Greek player intends to maintain the hunger as he targets more titles.
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"Are we satisfied? I'm not satisfied. I'm not even close to being satisfied," Antetokounmpo said at his season-opening press conference on Monday. "That's the tone we got to set as a team. As the leader of this team, that's the tone I'm going to set. We understand that teams are coming for us, but we're going to be ready."
The 2020 NBA MVP along with his teammates made it clear that their intention is to do it again. With training camp set to start this week the Bucks will want to focus on defending their first title since the 1970 season. They know their work is cut out for them.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Forget titles, it's about getting better
As "Right now what I want is to get better," he said. "I don't care about trophies. I don't care about the MVPs. I don't care about Defensive Player of the Years. All those things, I don't care. I care about getting better because if I do that more things are coming. "That's what I've done my whole career and that's how I am in this position. So, there's no weight off my shoulder, I feel the same weight. I enjoy, obviously, that we're the champions , but the weight is the same. Get better."
Giannis marks his targets.
At 26 years of age and a two-time MVP and Finals MVP, Antetokounmpo could be forgiven for sitting back if even just for a moment but Bucks' forward is determined to go one better. Speaking about his 17 of 19 free throws in the finals when the Bucks became champions, he was animated. "Life would be good if I could do that," he said with a laugh. "..I want to make free throws, I have to make free throws," Antetokounmpo said. "In order for us to win that game, I had to make free throws, and there's going to be a lot of big games where I have to make free throws. I have to get better in that area. If I could take one thing from that game, it's probably that and the blocked shots. I was chasing everything."
Antetokounmpo also referenced other greats in NBA history who he believes operated with a similar mentality saying they continued to "flip the script," often times portraying themselves as the underdog such as the infamous feud between Shaquille O'neal and David Robinson - which the former would later apologize for. There were also a number of instances which Michael Jordan famously "took personally" as he dominated opponents time and time again. Whatever the case it would seem that Antetokounmpo, the player they call the 'Greek Freak' has learned from the best as he looks for ways to maintain his motivation.
"We know we were the 2021 NBA champs, but right now we're just the Milwaukee Bucks again that nobody believes in us," he said. "And nobody believes that we can do it again."