Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has expressed his intention to prioritize winning a championship before signing a contract extension with the organization. While the recent trade to acquire Damian Lillard reinforced his confidence in the franchise’s commitment to success, Antetokounmpo stated at Bucks media day that he would not be signing an extension before the upcoming season. The decision stems from his desire to secure a more lucrative contract next summer.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Expresses Skepticism Over New Bucks Deal in ’23, Citing Lack of Logic
In an unfiltered manner, Antetokounmpo emphasized, “Money is not important, but a lot of f—ing money is important.” He plans to sign a contract extension in the following year, as it would yield a significantly higher value. However, the Greek Freak, who still has a few years remaining on his current contract, expressed his desire to remain a Milwaukee Buck for the entirety of his career, as long as the team continues to achieve success on the court.
Antetokounmpo became eligible to sign a three-year, $169 million extension during the offseason, with an October 23 deadline before the regular season commences. By waiting until next summer, he could potentially secure a four-year, $233 million extension. Antetokounmpo clarified that the commitment from the team is present, but this year, signing the extension did not align with his objectives.
His comments during the summer regarding his future in Milwaukee garnered attention throughout the league. However, Bucks general manager Jon Horst stated that the team was neither surprised nor motivated by Antetokounmpo’s remarks, reiterating their unwavering focus on winning. Despite this, Horst orchestrated a significant move recently by acquiring Damian Lillard, thereby forming a formidable duo alongside Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo expressed his enthusiasm for the addition, stating, “I feel like we are the same person, just a different size.” He highlighted Lillard’s competitive drive and their shared mindset of playing to win. Lillard reciprocated the sentiment, emphasizing their compatibility and mutual understanding of their roles on the team.
Lillard revealed that his interest in Milwaukee as a potential trade destination developed roughly two weeks before the deal. Despite spending 11 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard expressed his excitement about joining the Bucks. He relished the opportunity to be part of a team with a realistic chance of winning, a departure from his underdog experiences throughout his career.
Lillard and Antetokounmpo Unite for NBA Domination, Emphasize Hard Work Over Hype
The Bucks, despite boasting the best record in the NBA, suffered an early exit in the 2023 playoffs, losing to the Miami Heat in five games. Instead of retaining their championship-winning core, the Bucks seized the opportunity to acquire Lillard, forming one of the league’s most formidable duos with Antetokounmpo.
As they enter the new season with high expectations, Lillard emphasized the importance of hard work and a shared determination to achieve success in his early conversations with Antetokounmpo.
“When Giannis and I spoke, the focal point of that conversation was that, yes, it looks good and it’s an attractive thing, me and him playing together, the kind of team that we have, but the work has to get done,” Lillard explained. “I think that’s one thing that we’re extremely like-minded about.“
Antetokounmpo’s decision to delay contract negotiations reflects his commitment to securing the best possible outcome for himself and the Milwaukee Bucks. While financial considerations are important, his primary focus remains on winning championships and solidifying his legacy as a Milwaukee Buck. The addition of Damian Lillard elevates their potential and presents an exciting opportunity for both players to make a significant impact on the team’s success.