Giannis Antetokounmpo Has Hurt Jimmy Butler’s Title Chances Not Once, but TWICE, Khris Middleton Was at Stake the 1st Time

Published 09/28/2023, 2:20 AM EDT

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The Milwaukee Bucks might have shattered Jimmy Butler’s dreams of winning his first NBA Championship. The Bucks finalized a three-team deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns to acquire 7-time All-Star Damian Lillard. Dame entered the trade market in July after spending 11 years with the Portland Trail Blazers. With Lillard expressing his desire to join forces with Jimmy Butler, the majority speculated he would be traded to the Miami Heat. Instead, Lillard will now play alongside The Greek Freak in Milwaukee.

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This is not the first time Giannis Antetokounmpo has hurt Jimmy Butler’s chances of winning a Championship. Something similar happened in 2019 when the 2-time MVP chose his long-term teammate Khris Middleton over Jimmy Butler.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Shatters Jimmy Butler’s dream for the Second time

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After the Milwaukee Bucks beat Jimmy Butler and Co. in the race to acquire Damian Lillard, the NBA world dug up the past to bring up another instance that ruined Butler’s title chances. As per SiriusXM NBA Radio, it was reported that the Bucks were eyeing Jimmy Butler in 2019 before he made his move to Miami. The Bucks front office called The Greek Freak and asked him if he would agree to part ways with his co-star Khris Middleton to team up with Jimmy Butler. According to a former Bucks player, Giannis vetoed the deal.

 

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If the 2-time MVP had agreed to trade Middleton for Butler, the NBA world could have witnessed the dominant pairing of two of the toughest players in the league. Jimmy would have had an opportunity to win a championship playing alongside arguably the best player in the NBA. Unfortunately for Jimmy, the talks were halted by Giannis, and he signed with the Miami Heat. Maybe it was not about Giannis not wanting Jimmy Butler in his team, but more about the Greek Freak not willing to let go of his long-term teammate.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton’s bond runs deep

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Even though Jimmy Butler is a better player than Khris Middleton, Giannis would be satisfied with his choice in 2019. He has played with Middleton since he was drafted into the NBA. Middleton has been the perfect “Robin” to Giannis’ “Batman”, and the superstar duo has gone to many battles together throughout their careers.

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Giannis and Middleton even accomplished their ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Milwaukee in 2021. Middleton played a huge role in that title win, averaging 24 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in the Finals. Maybe Giannis would have won multiple championships if he had partnered with Jimmy Butler in 2019. But the 2-time MVP would be happy knowing that he won his first championship alongside the person he started his career with.

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The duo will look to win another championship as they now have superstar Damian Lillard in their squad. And Jimmy Butler will have his work cut out, considering the competition keeps getting harder in the East.

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Written by:

Rohan Bhaunt

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One take at a time

Rohan is an NBA Content Writer at EssentiallySports. He is a state-level basketball player and has been a fan of the NBA for over a decade. This allows him to deep dive into the sport and provide a fresh outlook.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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