MILWAUKEE — In an exclusive interview with WTMJ & Good Karma Brands, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo reiterated his concrete intentions to stay in Milwaukee despite not signing a contract extension this offseason.
Antetokounmpo sat down with Good Karma Brands’ Tony Cartagena for a conversation over a game of Uno during Bucks Media Day. After confirming the rules (Giannis’ version of Uno allows players to stack +2 and +4 cards on top of each other), the pair discussed the recent birth of his third child and first daughter. He admitted that his partner, Mariah Riddlesprigger, handles most of the diaper duty.
Their conversation quickly turned to Giannis’ commitment to Milwaukee, which came into question over the summer as he opted not to extend his contract with the team. On several occasions during the offseason, the superstar spoke candidly about his deep-rooted desire to contend for a title — whether it’s with the Bucks or elsewhere.
“Every time my extension [is close], people take it and blow it out of proportion,” Giannis told WTMJ. “I want my team, I want everybody in the organization to be as committed as I am. I want everybody, when they wake up, to think about championships.”
He explained that it could be “very, very easy” for him to accept his one championship and focus on spending time with his kids and collecting his paycheck. That’s not an option for the seven-time All-NBA selection and two-time MVP. He says that he remains laser-focused on bringing another championship to Milwaukee.
“Last year, we didn’t win a championship. People were crucifying us, but at the end of the day, it’s all about winning,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’m committed to the city of Milwaukee, and hopefully the city of Milwaukee is committed to our team too.”
No deal better positioned Antetokounmpo to bring another championship to Milwaukee than the acquisition of star point guard Damian Lillard.
“He brings energy [and] hunger to the team, and he allows us to be great and play at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said. “Teaming up with a guy like that…man. You might not have the opportunity to do that again.”
In speaking exclusively with WTMJ, Bucks Head Coach Adrian Griffin compared the likes of Giannis and Dame to star duos of the past, invoking the iconic pairing of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Ultimately, Giannis feels that it’s too soon to compare them.
“We cannot be in the same sentence as them if we don’t win. We have to win championships, and hopefully we can win,” he said. “We haven’t even practiced together. We haven’t even played a game, we haven’t even won a game together, so we cannot be in the same sentence as Kobe and Shaq or Kareem and Oscar…
“If we win together, and if we do what we’re supposed to do together, yeah, you can put us in that conversation.”
Last, but certainly not least, Giannis told WTMJ that he recently went to Insomnia Cookies with his partner. While he didn’t give in to the urge — Giannis tries not to eat sugar — he said he might try it during the All-Star break or after winning a title in July.
To watch the conversation in its entirety, click here to visit our YouTube channel.
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