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Giannis Antetokounmpo Insists He Won’t Extend Milwaukee Contract Next Summer Without Consensus

How The OKC Thunder Can Acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo Amid His Milwaukee Bucks Departure Intensions

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s aspirations extend beyond the boundaries of both business and basketball, reflecting his unwavering drive for success. He voiced his ambition, emphasizing that he does not want to spend two decades on a single team without adding more championship victories to his resume.

On a sun-soaked hillside mansion, Giannis Antetokounmpo wielded a small, portable black fan in his sizable 12-inch-wide hands. He used it to combat the heat while observing his younger brother, Alex Antetokounmpo, posing for a photoshoot near a basketball hoop overlooking Los Angeles, all for an advertising campaign.

Guiding his brother with coaching cues, Giannis remarked on the determined look in Alex’s eyes, likening it to the “eyes of the tiger,” all while blending it with a warm smile. Grinning, he acknowledged a small audience of around twelve individuals observing the scene. Giannis has been mentoring Alex for a significant part of their lives. When Giannis initiated his N.B.A. journey with the Milwaukee Bucks at the age of 18, he soon brought his family from poverty in Greece to join him. At that time, Alex was only 12 years old.

At 28 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo candidly admitted that he occasionally fears becoming a bother to his younger brother Alex, who is 21, despite Alex not displaying any signs of irritation. Giannis mentioned that although Alex might engage in less-than-wise actions, he’s proud of the path his brother is carving.

As Giannis soared to N.B.A. superstardom, clinching the Most Valuable Player Award twice and assuming a pivotal role on a championship-winning team, he strived to involve his family in his journey. Out of his four brothers, three have played professionally in the United States.

Over the past three years, Giannis has embarked on a more enduring venture: empowering his family to manage their finances and futures. He recently established Ante, Inc., to serve as a hub for his brothers’ projects and investments. This venture encapsulates Giannis’s life beyond basketball, even though his dedication to the sport remains unwavering. Despite being eligible for a lucrative three-year extension worth approximately $173 million soon, he doesn’t intend to sign immediately.

Antetokounmpo emphasized that the pivotal consideration wouldn’t be this year, as the numbers don’t align logically. Rather, he indicated that the next year or summer might be more suitable for both parties. He asserted that his commitment to team unity and the pursuit of a championship is non-negotiable. If he doesn’t sense alignment in those aspects, he won’t put pen to paper.

This approach, coupled with a heightened focus on business ventures alongside his siblings, underscores Antetokounmpo’s transformation as he delves deeper into comprehending his personal aspirations.

Reflecting on his evolution, he remarked, “From 2020 to 2023, people think I’ve taken a large jump on the basketball court, but I think I’ve taken 10X jump off the court.”

This transformation was ignited in the spring of 2020 when the global pandemic halted life as usual. Uncertainty loomed over players’ salaries and endorsement deals with the basketball season in flux. Amid this uncertainty, Giannis initiated a quest to diversify his income streams.

“In the house, we were sitting. OK, now what?” Giannis recounted. “Basketball is taken away, what do I have?” He delved into stock trading by downloading an app and independently investing for the first time. Seeking guidance and mentorship, he reached out to accomplished individuals from various industries.

The year proved eventful for Giannis, heightened by personal milestones like the birth of his first child, Liam, in February, and his second M.V.P. Award for the 2019-20 season. This season concluded with the Bucks losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals at the N.B.A.’s isolated campus at Disney World.

Contract Extension with Bucks

A few months later, Antetokounmpo inked a five-year, $228 million contract extension with the Bucks. However, an unsettling feeling gnawed at him, accompanied by a sense of numbness. He candidly conveyed to the Bucks his reluctance to continue playing basketball.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Insists He Won't Extend Milwaukee Contract Next Summer Without Consensus on the Team

This sentiment wasn’t entirely new. In his rookie year, Antetokounmpo’s yearning for his family was so intense that he demanded the Bucks find a way to bring them to Milwaukee, even going so far as to threaten returning to Greece if his plea wasn’t met. Growing up, he and his brothers shared beds, and when he departed for the N.B.A. draft in 2013, his father reassured him with the promise that he’d always find him, no matter where he was in the world. But upon his arrival in Milwaukee, the initial experience was a far cry from what he’d known. Isolated in a hotel room, it marked the first instance he felt genuinely lonely.

Antetokounmpo’s siblings, particularly his older brother Thanasis, play pivotal roles in his life. When he confided his uncertainties to Thanasis during the 2020-21 season, the latter reassured him, ready to stand by him even if it meant leaving the Bucks.

Reaching a turning point, the Bucks suggested Antetokounmpo consult a sports psychologist. This decision enabled him to develop coping mechanisms for the stress and pressure he encountered. Rediscovering the joy of playing basketball, he propelled the Bucks to a championship victory that season, describing it as the most euphoric feeling he’s experienced in his basketball journey.

Driven by the desire for a repeat triumph, Antetokounmpo endured a challenging season where injuries plagued his performance and the Bucks faltered, losing in the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. Subsequently, Milwaukee made coaching changes, letting go of Mike Budenholzer and welcoming Adrian Griffin, a former assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. This transition has introduced a layer of uncertainty regarding whether Antetokounmpo will extend his contract.

He emphasized the importance of gauging the dynamics and compatibility, both with the new coach and the team’s collective approach. His priority remains winning a championship, aligning with the organization and his teammates on this goal. While he expressed deep respect and gratitude toward the Milwaukee Bucks and the city, acknowledging the extraordinary decade he’s spent there, he acknowledges the need for another championship to solidify their legacy.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, halfway to his goal of completing 20 seasons in the N.B.A., aspires to emulate legendary players like Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan by remaining with one team throughout his career. However, he places winning a championship above all else and is unwilling to spend two decades with the same team without securing another title.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Insists He Won't Extend Milwaukee Contract Next Summer Without Consensus on the Team

During a photoshoot at his residence, Giannis passionately advocated for a pain-relieving balm produced by Flexpower, a company that he and his brothers partially own. He has a long history of being a skilled salesman, dating back to his childhood when he assisted his parents in selling sunglasses on Athens’ streets.

Enthusiastically involved in his younger brother Alex’s growth and success, Giannis exuberantly supported Alex during the photoshoot, showcasing their close bond. This camaraderie has translated into their business ventures, as they work together on various projects under Ante, Inc., with Giannis holding the role of chairman. Each brother plays a unique role based on their personalities. While Alex labeled Thanasis as determined and bold, Kostas excels in brainstorming despite his quieter demeanor.

Giannis’s involvement extended to discussions about his new Nike contract, which he negotiated himself this summer. His investment endeavors span a range of sectors, from the Milwaukee Brewers to candy companies, nutritional firms, and a golf team co-owned by Venus and Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. He is also a co-owner of funds with Calamos Investments, donating a portion of profits to financial literacy organizations.

Acknowledging his commitment to financial literacy, Giannis expressed his desire to have gained investment knowledge earlier. His foray into investments and his growing off-court ventures have led to personal and professional growth.

Furthermore, Giannis and his brothers’ ownership in Major League Soccer’s Nashville SC resonates deeply with their journey. Despite their upbringing marked by hardship, the Antetokounmpo family’s ownership of the soccer team’s success symbolizes their collective accomplishments.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Insists He Won't Extend Milwaukee Contract Next Summer Without Consensus on the Team
Giannis and brother pictured ahead of Nashville FC vs Inter Miami league cup tie.

Notably thrifty, Giannis contemplates his growing wealth with an eye toward his children’s futures. With two sons and a daughter on the way, he’s cautious about exposing his children to the spotlight, especially in Greece, where his fame rivals that of LeBron James or Michael Jordan in the U.S. He aims to shield his children from undue attention, using social media to cover their faces.

Giannis emphasizes the importance of family unity in business decisions. The brothers operate under a messaging thread named “Antetokounbros” for business matters, and another titled “F.O.E.” (family over everything) for personal conversations. Based on his past experiences, Giannis is confident that involving his family in his affairs ensures they remain trustworthy and aligned with his values.

Reflecting on the stark contrast between his family’s supportive dynamic and the publicized disputes of some teammates’ families, Giannis underscores the resilience instilled by their upbringing in Greece. This unbreakable bond underscores his commitment to safeguarding his family, protecting them from the pitfalls that sometimes plague those around him.

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