Giannis Antetokounmpo not satisfied after winning NBA championship


MILWAUKEE – It’s been just over two months since the Milwaukee Bucks won the 2020-21 NBA Championship, but star Giannis Antetokounmpo still wants to keep the chip on his shoulder that allowed them to win that title.

“Are we satisfied? I’m not satisfied. I’m not even close to being,” Antetokounmpo said at his season-opening press conference on Monday. “This is the tone we need to set as a team. As the leader of this team, this is the tone I will set. We understand that teams are coming for us, but we are going to be ready.”

Antetokounmpo voiced a similar chorus with the rest of his Bucks teammates. They’ll open training camp this week, ready to turn the page on last season and focus on defending the franchise’s first title since the 1970-71 season.

So while Antetokounmpo spoke fondly of bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy home the night after the NBA Finals, carrying it through the drive to Chick-Fil-A and taking it with him. in Greece this summer, he didn’t want to spend a lot of time Monday afternoon focusing on last season.

“Right now what I want is to get better,” he said. “I don’t care about trophies. I don’t care about MVPs. I don’t care about defensive player of the year. All of those things, I don’t care. I care about getting better because if I do that more stuff arrive.

“That’s what I’ve been doing my whole career and that’s how I’m in this position. So there’s no weight on my shoulders, I feel the same weight. obviously, that we are the champions, but the weight is the same.

This is perhaps the most intriguing prospect for the Bucks and Antetokounmpo as the season approaches: the obvious ways they can still improve.

Already a two-time MVP and MVP of the Finals, Antetokounmpo was lively when he spoke about boosting his performance in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, especially when he knocked down 17 of his 19 free throws to help seal the victory. “Life would be good if I could do that,” he said with a laugh. He also highlighted his five blocks in the final and said he wanted to try and maintain that level of effort in defense on every possession this year.

“I want to do free throws, I have to do free throws,” said Antetokounmpo. “In order for us to win this game I had to do free throws, and there are going to be a lot of big games where I have to do free throws. I have to improve in that area. If I could take one thing. of that game, that’s probably it and the blocked shots. I was chasing everything. “

Antetokounmpo pointed out how some of the great players in NBA history have continued to “reverse the scenario” as he put it, posing as the underdog. Whether it’s Shaquille O’Neal using a slight imagination of David Robinson as a motivation to dominate Spurs whenever he gets the chance to play against him (O’Neal later apologized for making up the story) or The plethora of things Michael Jordan “took personally,” Antetokounmpo took note of how the greats continued to stay motivated.

“We know we were the 2021 NBA champions, but right now we’re just the Milwaukee Bucks again that no one believes in us,” he said. “And no one believes we can do it again.”

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