As recently as last fall, there was major uncertainty about whether Giannis Antetokounmpo would remain with the Bucks for the long term, as his second contract with the team was nearing an end and he was weighing whether or not to sign a super-max extension.
Antetokounmpo, of course, eventually accepted that super-max offer last December, a decision that paid off in a major way on Tuesday, when the Bucks secured their first championship in 50 years. After the Game 6 victory, Giannis expressed satisfaction that he opted to stick with Milwaukee rather than joining forces with other stars elsewhere.
“I could go to a super-team and just do my part and win a championship,” he said on Tuesday, according to Steve Megargee of The Associated Press. “But this is the hard way to do it and this is the way to do it. And we did it.”
As Megargee writes, Antetokounmpo spent much of his post-game press conference thanking the people who helped him get to this point, including the current and former Bucks officials who had a hand in his development. He also reiterated his love for the city of Milwaukee.
“This is my city,” Giannis said. “They trust me. They believe in me. They believe in us.”
Here’s more on the new NBA champions:
- Kevin Durant, whose Nets nearly got by the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals said after Team USA practice in Tokyo on Wednesday that he wasn’t dwelling on “what-ifs,” per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Durant also referred to the Bucks as “somewhat of a dynasty,” as Joe Vardon of The Athletic relays. “I know it’s the first chip and a lot of people call you a dynasty after a few,” Durant said. “But the continuity of that team is something that’s impressive and how they continue to build and add and now they’re champions, and you can appreciate that.” Durant will be seeking a gold medal alongside Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton at the Olympics.
- Sam Amick and Eric Nehm of The Athletic take a deep dive into the road the Bucks took to the 2021 championship. The in-depth report includes several interesting tidbits, including that Antetokounmpo required fluid IV treatment after Game 5 due to dehydration and that Holiday was “ecstatic” last offseason to be traded to the Bucks, who were on his list of preferred destinations.
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) examines what’s on tap for the Bucks this summer and how they can keep their championship roster intact. The first step the team takes this offseason may be to reward head coach Mike Budenholzer – who is entering a contract year – with an extension, Marks notes.
- In case you missed it, Holiday earned a $1MM bonus as a result of the Bucks’ title. Milwaukee will now be a taxpayer this season for the first time since 2003, and it’s safe to assume team ownership is just fine with that.
44 thoughts on “Bucks Notes: Giannis, Holiday, Budenholzer”
Giannis could have given a ‘safer’ and template answer for the media, but he had to say it anyway ……. that going the super-team route is the easier way and theirs was the harder and right way to win a championship.
With that statement, Giannis basically threw LeBron, KD and whoever else, under that proverbial bus.
Giannis is still young and on an emotional high during that postgame interview though – everyone, including Stephen Jackson, should probably give him a pass for this one.
Kudos to Giannis, the BUCKS and all of their fanbase.
Yup. And to everyone who wants to bring up Irving and Harden’s injuries in retort to the super-team comment, you know what? LeBron’s ring last year was just as goofy as this year’s ring.
I think both stand without asterisk at the end of the day, ESPECIALLY given Giannis’s superhuman game 6.
Talk of asterisks is silly. You could argue that virtually every championship in NBA history should have an asterisk for one reason or another. At the end of the day Bucks fans will remember this forever.
It never stopped people from putting them on both of Houston’s championships.
Hey it was Jordans decision to not play basketball. Doesn’t mean anything
No one said a peep about the first Cavs vs GSW matchup when Love missed the entire series because his arm was ripped out of socket and Kyrie blew his knee out in the 1st game. It was LBJ, JR, TT Delly and Mozgov and they took em to 6 games. Every playoff there’s bound to be some team with hobbled or missing stars. No asterisks needed. Part of winning it all is the ability to be available for your team. Enjoy the chip Milwaukee.
I like that he had the balls to say what a lot of us think. I don’t think he needs a pass. He earned the right to say exactly what he said.
Indeed. Giannis seemed to have forgotten though – that just a few weeks back, a super-team would have SURELY eliminated his team, had it not been for injuries.
But like I said, let’s give the guy a pass and his props, as he’s still on an emotional high after that championship clinching win.
This has been a long, funky season, carried and spilled over from a funky last season. The entire league deserves this offseason to recover and reset.
Valid points although Freak is correct. Still a 6-7 game series if Nets healthy. Non-defensive team. But Nets win
BS. Nobody stays healthy, and the Nets signing who they signed, where taking a risk willingly.
No asterisks, no excuses, don’t be a sore loser and claim false knowledge makes you more insightful. It just makes you more bitter.
Credit to GA… and Durant for mentioning “dynasty”, though MIL is already into the luxury with only 2.5 bigs signed.
It wasn’t a super team. Irving and Harden were MIA. The nets still almost won
No, they wouldn’t have “surely” eliminated them.
Lets say Kyrie and Harden are out there for Gm5. Lets also give the Bucks THEIR injured starting SG and oen of the best perimeter defenders in DiVincenzo.
All you’re doing is taking shots away from Green…who hit 7 straight 3’s, Blake who went 7-11 and KD who had a historic 49 point performance on 23 shots. So they’re NOT likely to be any better offensively than they were…and that team is SO much worse defensively.
Of course…the fact that Kyrie has finished the season healthy THREE TIMES since High School and Harden came into the season with a beer belly because he wanted to force his way out, that might be an indicator that the Nets weren’t built in the smartest fashion while the Bucks have reliable players who don’t get hurt nearly as often.
Just wanted to say it’s pretty cool to see all of the kind and classy comments on some of the other Bucks articles. I suppose the fans of the Suns might be a little sore yet and can’t quite bring themselves to think about sports yet today and I can totally understand that. Fans should feel a little bad for CP and Booker is going to be a force to watch for years to come. What a shooter. Just a sweet day to be a WI sports fan and see that “blue collar” team work hard to bring it home. Very cool.
I like that Suns team. I do not like Chris Paul. Dude’s a dirty player. How many times do you need to punch someone in the balls or try to shove a guy while he’s in mid air?
But Monty Williams? Pure Class. Book…incredible shooter/scorer(the Kobe comps are unfair, he’s not on Kobe’s level defensively, but whatever).
If I was a Suns fan, I’d be rooting HARD for my team to try and swing a trade with the Knicks…who have cap room(or will after renouncing) to trade Paul for Quickley. Maybe the Suns add something, but that team is young and athletic and I think a PG who pushes the pace and who they can grow with would be better. Hell, I thought they were more dangerous with Cam Payne than when Paul was out there. A better, younger PG who can push the pace with Bridges, Ayton, Cam Johnson…among others?
THAT team would be a problem. They’re gonna be one either way, but personally I think they should move on from Paul. And that’s not because I think he’s dirty…which I do, it’s because I just think it’s smarter.
Giannis just went from a dude that people were having serious doubts about as a #1 option to basically a playoff legend.
I love Jrue’s defense, but it’s hard to argue he was really a two way player shooting 4-19 regularly. Middleton made the big shots when it counted, but he was still very hit or miss when it came to actually getting to that point.
Giannis’ stock just went up another level.
Just goes to show you that
even in Milwaukee
it takes BUCKS to the right player(s)
to be successful !!
how much damage took place
in Milwaukee as a result of
victory celebrations ??
A couple of shootings (nothing out of the ordinary and nobody killed) a handful of fools who jumped into the Milwaukee River, but nothing else. Sorry to disappoint but no cars overturned, no buildings looted, just a city coming together to celebrate a well deserved championship. Good try trolling though.
Let’s be honest.
There is only 40% chance for Bucks to win the East next year.
There is only 20% chance for Suns to win the West next year.
I doubt the Suns chances are even that high. This is a team that missed the playoffs 10 years in a row before last season. They were lucky to face 3 teams who were all dealing with big injuries. And the West is still very deep, so even though Phoenix should make the postseason again in 2022 they are a long shot to get back to the Finals, with or without Chris Paul.
The Bucks main concern will of course be the Nets, no one else will be a serious threat.
Who’s not taking the Hawks seriously after that series?! Talent there for sure!
You mean nobody is guaranteed— we will have to play the games?
PS— Kawhi will be injured next year too.
Giannis isn’t a teammate of LBJ or KD, so he’s not on their bus, and thus can’t throw them under it. He’s addressing the idiocy of all the casual NBA fans and lazy media that believe (or pretend to believe) that a player that doesn’t force his way out of a situation that might not be their best situation to win a championship, somehow doesn’t want to win one. Truth is that, among those who know the game and its history, Giannis’ championship would be no more than a fun fact footnote to legacy if he needed to force his way out of MIL to an existing championship contender to win it. Moreover, because he’s on a real team (not the product of a cut and paste job dreamed up by a quasi-2k’er), his team will have the chance to compete for more in the coming years. If they win another, it will be doubly meaningful.
What Giannis said isn’t remotely controversial at all.
I’ll take my Bucks over the Nets any day. If they meet up and the Nets win, that’s why you play the games. Not that Milwaukee could assemble a “super team” in the first place, but Giannis has forever etched his face into Wisconsin sports Mt Rushmore.
The significance of this achievment outstrips the Lakers title last year. That said, neither title gets an asterisk in my book. I’ll reserve that honor for Houston’s baseball team.
I mean really, the argument should be “top heavy superteams vs teams that have very good players at 6-10” and tbh the superteams have won as much as they lost, due to obvious injury issues that they cant handle, while teams with longer benches can.
The fact that pretty much only older and guys who had injuries keep forming the foundations of these superteams is kind of making them false narratives in themselves.
Prediction: Coach Bud (who always has been bad at his job) will now be viewed as bulletproof by management, but his infuriating style, as witnessed by last night the Suns running the same play 18 straight times and the Bucks not adjusting, will cause a rift between Giannis and him, which will lead to a trade to GSW. MIL will continue to be bad under Bud, regardless of team. This happened in MLB with the Angels and Mike Scioscia, who after winning the title in 2002, then went 10-22 in the playoffs over the next 16 seasons. Can see similarities here…
There you go again. I promise… annnnny friction between Giannis and Bud will NOT be settled by then trading Giannis anywhere let alone to GSW. Stop rosterbating and hooooo have some fun outside. (said with luv of course).
Prediction: countless articles will be written in the near future about Giannis being traded to (insert any big market team) due to (insert any rumor here).
Right? Coach Bud was so bad that they went to the Eastern Conference Finals , then to the Eastern Semis then coached them to a championship.
I get a new coach and let Bud walk. He’s gotten out coached all the way to Hawks series. IMO Giannis awakening happened after he got hurt. He played smarter and was more deliberate in his actions. He stopped with needles dribbling. Going one on one all the time. He posted more and his decision making just went up a few notches. His passing was better even his D. His D was based on good reads and better instinct. Like he got calmer and was always guessing right. The true greats always say the game slows down for them. That’s really true. We saw this with Giannis in just this playoff run. He’s a much better player than the Nets series. Truly been amazing watching his transformation. Jrue was always the missing piece. They needed a real PG to take ball away from Giannis. His iso play was easy to guard especially closing gms. Fact Jrue is one of best defenders. Wasn’t appreciated enough. Bucks as a team won most of their gms as the best defensive team. I’ll give Bud some credit for adjustments he made in Suns series. But Nets or Hawks series should never have been so close. I don’t bring him back. Go get DAntoni. Bucks also need to fix their bench a little. They missed Mathews and they need another shooter too. Suns have to bring back Chris. Chris sign a two year deal and end it in the land of the Sun. Suns have to fix their bench. Especially a rim protector. Howard would have been perfect for them. Even McGee. Kaminsky did absolutely Nada. Both will have a tougher road next yr. As both East and West will be deeper.
yeah great message to send to your team. trade away the coach they’ve bonded with. what you or I think of Bud doesn’t matter. If Giannis sees them replace the coach that just won a title then what kind of message regarding loyalty does that send?
You want loyalty go have a kid. This is business. He’s gotten paid since 2018 here. And frankly if he lost this yr he would be gone. They were lucky to beat a depleted Nets team. It wasn’t his coaching that won this title. It was a little luck. And Giannis becoming a BETTER player. Jrue and Middleton showing up. The team D. Even though he made some adjustments in Suns series. Mostly out coached by first yr coaches McMillan and Nash. I know you didn’t believe in Bucks when playoffs started. So keep the Bandwagon full. I’ve been firing him since the bubble. He didn’t win this the Players did. And in business you always upgrade or get left behind.
The arguement isn’t is he a good or bad coach. You hire a coach to win and that’s what he did. How dumb would it be and how bad would it look to the fanbase to fire him right after winning the first title in 50 years. Let’s get this straight… the players are usually the reason why a team wins it all. They fire him without giving him 2021-2022 season then the players and fanbase will be hugely upset. He gets a reprieve even if it’s only 1 more season.
I have to agree on Bud. He rode the talented team. Give him credit for hanging in there, but the adjustments were always damn near too late, or the players weren’t listening. bring in an actual coach and let’s see what they can do. Bud is a players coach, and you can see what that does for bonding, but let’s see what a cerebral coach can get out of these guys… Will be interesting to see what happens.
Umm, huh? Lol. Bud adjusted this playoffs more than he ever did as bucks coach. Shortened playoff rotations, played stars more minutes, didn’t stick to lopez dropping on defense. Bud did everything he needed to do to prove he is a great coach, not only in the regular season, but playoffs as well. Change for the sake of change, is not going to do anything.
@Dan 34 as a Bucks fan and regular Bud-troll, I’ll step up and agree with most of your take.. and to Bud’s credit, he played the players he needed to to win, clearly.
But also – at one point the Bucks were 4/20 from three, a recurring issue. Meanwhile, Giannis started 19/20(?) from the line in a close game.
Bud as a coach outperformed my criticism, but if this is going to be a dynasty (IF), Bud needs to keep improving. If he shows that improvement next year, extend him, even if they don’t repeat.
what’s the point of bringing up the 4/20 from 3? Bud isn’t shooting them.
Shortened rotations. Bucks don’t have a bench. DiVincenzo shortened it all. Bucks are not a deep team. Be glad they won. But this team with this coach won’t be back unless they upgrade their bench.
He got out coached all the way to an NBA championship.
Wrong about Kaminsky. He rallied the team when he finally got in game 6, and can burn a center with movement.
Centers are not totem poles.
And Saric gets Ayton directed by example, better than any orders given by wittle bitching guards.
You talk about centers Al but they are in a different world. Like your friends the goaltenders.
You think Bud was out-coached vs Steve Nash?
Also…they only missed Wes because they lost their 4th best player and one of the better perimeter defenders in the league to injury in Rd 1. Donte DiVincenzo fits this team perfectly and will be a huge factor moving forward.
Now…just need to see Josh Primo drop to the 1st pick of Rd 2.
We (I) have roasted Bud incessantly. The staff has to step up and give him their insights. I don’t know how much they tell him and then he rejects it for something else. I coached HS Girls Soccer and had 2 assistants and many, many times we saw different things during the same game and many times I accepted their insights over my own.
Q: What do you call Giannis’ mid-range jumper?
A: A defensive rebound
Realistically, Bud is limited to how GA wants it done. Bud is star-oriented. If you fire him, it is for that reason.
And GA gets what he wants, which will likely be Bud.
Bucks won, no crying about it. But where do they find bigs for next year… Tucker & Portis can do better, Diakite is skinny, and Lopez must be feeling like it’s a career.
Where did they find Portis this year? Horst always finds talent…and now that they’ve won, they’ll likely have more success getting older players to buy in.
PJ wants to come back(not sure what you mean by “can do better…” better than what?), Portis wants to as well(though…I don’t see that). Not sure why Lopez must be “feeling like it’s a career,” when he was dominant when Giannis went down and helped put them over the top vs the Hawks? He was a +42 after Giannis went down.
But when you have Giannis, you’re pretty much always covered. He can play the 5. In fact, that’s been the Bucks best lineup the last 3-4 years…when he’s at the 5. So as long as he’s there, they’re fine.