‘Don’t Diminish Your Teammates’: Former NBA Champion Grills Giannis Antetokounmpo for His Superteam Remarks

Published 07/22/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) celebrates with the Larry O’Brien Trophy after game six of the 2021 NBA Finals and the championship against the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Milwaukee Bucks became a 60-win team after a gap of 38 years in 2018-19. Yet, they lost the conference finals to Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors after leading the series 2-0. Then, they again topped the EC to eventually lose 1-4 against the underdogs in the Miami Heat. As a result, everyone thought the Bucks were no good without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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Now, it might still hold true today but the dynamics have since changed. With the Freak signing the supermax extension, Jon Horst upgraded the pieces around him and made them a reliable roster. But is it the depth enough to qualify them for a superteam? At least Giannis rejected this in his post-game interview after winning the NBA title.

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Stephen Jackson believes opposite of Giannis Antetokounmpo

In a recent interview, former NBA Champion with the Spurs, Stephen Jackson gave an unpopular opinion. The 43-YO expressed, “It means a lot to him to stay and win in Milwaukee but he is on a super team. You got Jrue Holiday, you got a closing Middleton, he is the most dominant player that I have seen in a long time. I’d like to give him his credit. He has a closer.” 

Well, Khris Middleton has proved it time and time again that he is undoubtedly an amazing clutch player. Take for example his overtime game winner against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of EC quarters. Later, he played two big games against the Hawks when Giannis was sitting out because of his hyperextended knee. And during the NBA Finals, his 40-point Game 4 performance saw him creating havoc in the final 30 seconds.

So it’s true that Khris was to Giannis what Kobe Bryant was to Shaquille O’Neal. Just as Stephen added, “Same thing Shaq has, Shaq is the most dominant, but he had a closer in Kobe.”

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What was so wrong about The Greek Freak’s post-game comments?

As per Stack Jack, Giannis Antetokounmpo must not have underappreciated his unit by not calling them a superteam. As he further stated, “Have Jrue Holiday, one of the most dominant defenders in the game. So don’t make it seem like your team is just a whole bunch of D-Leaguers, you have one D-League, he is an All-Star now. So you have a superteam, you might not have super names. Don’t diminish your teammates.”

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Now, it is true that Jrue Holiday is a 3x All-Defensive player and Khris Middleton is a 2x All-Star, it’s worth noting that none are very consistent. If the NBA playoffs 2021 is considered, both the players had their poor games where Khris failed to score from deep and Jrue was an offensive failure. 

But when it comes to superteams, it is the Nets who currently have two former NBA Champions. In the past, it were the Warriors who had two league MVPs playing in the same team. So in a way, Stephen’s comments were eyebrow-raising but he was correct to the point that such comments from the team leader can be demeaning for the teammates.

What do you think about this? Help us know in the comments if you see the Bucks as a superteam or not. 

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Watch this story – Giannis Antetokounmpo Most Heated Moments Over the Years

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Sourabh Singh

1439 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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