Giannis Antetokounmpo has not been quiet about his love for Milwaukee. Both before and since he signed a contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020, he's been vocal about his love for the city and the team, and that love has only grown since he led the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years.
But that love may not keep him in the city forever. In a recent interview with GQ's Zach Baron, he said there's a possibility that he could leave Milwaukee in the future and embrace a new challenge somewhere else.
“One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did,” he told me. “It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What’s the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.” It’s not that he doesn’t love Milwaukee, he said. But he was always wary of things becoming too easy. “Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us — for now,” Giannis said. “In two years, that might change. I’m being totally honest with you. I’m always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible.”
That's not going to be easy for Bucks fans to read. Antetokounmpo didn't just help lead the team to a championship, he's a joyful player and human being. There's no other guy like him in the NBA, and him wearing different colors isn't something that most Milwaukee fans want to imagine.
Giannis Antetokounmpo may have to 'manufacture' more challenges
Thankfully for Bucks fans, they can suspend the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Antetokounmpo's longtime agent Alex Saratsis interpreted what Giannis said, and told GQ he thinks it's more about finding new challenges than actually leaving.
“I don’t think it’s, ‘I’m thinking about leaving the Bucks,’ ” Saratsis told me. “But I think he’s genuinely like: ‘Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let’s repeat.’ But what happens if you do repeat? What’s the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything,” Saratsis said. “So sometimes you’re going to have to manufacture what those challenges are.”
For now, Antetokounmpo's main challenge is bringing the Bucks a second straight championship. And with the team sitting at 6-8, he's got his work cut out for him.