“S*it Happens”: Bucks Owner Explains Anxiety Around Giannis Antetokounmpo Leaving Milwaukee

Published 08/31/2021, 11:29 PM EDT
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with the NBA Finals MVP Trophy following the game against the Phoenix Suns following game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Milwaukee Bucks are still the fastest NBA franchise to win the championship, winning the title in their third year of existence in 1971. However, they had to wait exactly 50 years to win another championship. And it took a lot of investing, rebuilding, and (of course) Giannis Antetokounmpo to reach there. The Bucks are the current NBA champions and will start their championship defense against the Brooklyn Nets on October 19th.

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Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is the co-founder and CEO of Avenue Capital Group. He became a co-owner of the Milwaukee-based franchise in 2013. The Bucks had qualified for the playoffs twenty-two times before his ownership.

Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with the NBA Finals MVP Trophy following the game against the Phoenix Suns following game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Lasry’s arrival changed the fortunes of the franchise, as they qualified for the playoffs in the last five seasons. The Bucks also won the division title three times in the past three seasons.

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Bucks owner Marc Lasry opens up on the anxiety around Giannis Antetokounmpo leaving

Marc Lasry recently gave an interview with The Athletic, where he opened up about the championship-winning season, playoff run, finance, and more. He also talked about the anxiety revolving around Giannis Antetokounmpo’s exit.

“Look, there’s always angst. There just is. The reason there is (is that) sh*t happens and people can change their mind. I think there was a high level of confidence (that he would sign), but part of that is just the person that Giannis is (and) the relationship that we all had with him, and the belief that he really — he wanted to stay. I think ultimately at the end of the day, it wasn’t about the money for him. I think it really was ‘Could he win?’,” Marc Lasry told The Athletic.

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Milwaukee Bucks signed Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013, the same year when Lasry and Edens purchased the franchise from Herb Kohl. Both Antetokounmpo and Lasry’s arrival changed Milwaukee Bucks’ fortunes for the years to come. Giannis’ rise has been exemplary in the NBA. While many players joined a ‘super team’ in order to win the championship, Giannis preferred the ‘hard way’.

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Giannis signed a supermax contract extension with the Bucks last year, which would begin from the upcoming NBA season and run till 2026. He won the NBA MVP in 2019 and 2020, but Milwaukee failed to win the championship despite finishing top of the Eastern Conference. However, last season, Antetokounmpo guided the Bucks to their second NBA championship and won the NBA Finals MVP in the process.

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Abhishek Singh

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