While accepting his second straight NBA Most Valuable Player award on Friday, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo offered hints about how he is approaching his future with the franchise. Specifically, he expressed a desire to stay with the team for the remainder of his career, provided that the two sides remain on the same page with regard to their ultimate goal.
For Antetokounmpo, that means putting forth their best effort to win a championship.
“As long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years,” he told Ernie Johnson on NBA TV, via ESPN, after accepting his trophy.
This offseason, Antetokounmpo, who has one season left on his current contract, will be eligible to sign a supermax extension worth between $210 million and $255 million over five years, depending on the league’s basketball-related income and salary cap figures for next season. However, there has been some level of concern about his willingness to commit after the Bucks disappointed in this year’s playoffs.
During the pandemic-shortened regular season, Milwaukee finished with a league-best 56-17 record and captured the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed running away. After dispatching the Orlando Magic in Round 1, though, the team was shocked by a seemingly inferior Miami Heat club, ceding their conference semifinal series in a 4-1 rout.
As reported by NBC Sports and various other outlets, Antetokounmpo unfollowed a slew of Bucks-related Instagram accounts shortly thereafter, including those of teammates and members of the Bucks’ basketball staff.
On the same day as Antetokounmpo’s massive social media culling, the two-time MVP and 2020 Defensive Player of the Year met with Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry to discuss the organization’s future. According to ESPN, Lasry worked to reassure his star player over the course of a three-hour lunch that the team is willing to spend into the luxury tax in order to provide him with a championship-level supporting cast.
However, the Bucks’ prohibitive cap situation could make it difficult for the club to make significant changes to its roster. Nevertheless, Antetokounmpo and Lasry appear to share an understanding.
“I left the meeting encouraged and was happy with what we discussed and for now, we’re on the same page,” he said.
“I was happy that they came and we had this long conversation about how we’re gonna get better and about things for the future.”
As relayed by The Inquisitr, Antetokounmpo made history with his most recent award win, becoming just the third person in the association’s annals to capture MVP and DPOY honors in the same campaign, following in the footsteps of Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.