The Predecessor of Giannis Antetokounmpo Reveals Why No Star Player Wished to Join the Bucks

Published 03/11/2021, 4:00 AM CST
Jan 15, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with guard Jrue Holiday (21) against the Dallas Mavericks at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports


Today, Milwaukee Bucks is synonymous with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and it is hard to imagine the two separately. However, before the ‘Greek Freak’ took charge, it was Michael Redd who shouldered the leadership of the Bucks’ squad.

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Michael was perhaps one of the greatest surprise packages that the league has ever nurtured. At the age of 21, his entry into the NBA was later than most prodigies. However, even after starting off as an underrated player, he left with his head held higher than many.

He proved to be a man of character and a player of finesse that stayed loyal to one team, even when it was losing.

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Why could Milwaukee Bucks’ Michael Redd not win on a bigger stage?

Michael spent 11 seasons of his 12-year NBA career playing for the Bucks. Out of those many years, his best season remained his rookie year when the Bucks reached the EC finals and lost to the 76ers in seven games. Those were the Ray Allen days that soon faded away, and Michael Redd could never become a part of another strong squad.

In a recent interview, the 41-YO revealed why no star wanted to join his team and help him reach deeper into the playoffs. He expressed:

“There was always a push to get incredible talents to Milwaukee. At the time, it was more challenging because Milwaukee is not a glamorous city in a sense it’s not Miami or LA or New York or any of those teams. So it was always a challenge for us to get superstar players to come play in Milwaukee. I would talk to certain guys and they would say we love you Mike, but we don’t love the city. So that was one of the challenges. That’s just nothing against the city of Milwaukee, it’s just cold environment. In this time of year, guys want to be in warm weather cities and I understood that.” 

It’s surprising to know that even his friends from the hooping community, who must have respected Mike, did not consider joining the Bucks because of the harsh climate.

Redd further added, “I had that opportunity to leave as a free agent at one point. But I wanted to stay in Milwaukee because I was committed to the city and the organization. I’m a loyalist, so the weather didn’t distract me from staying. I wanted to build something great in Milwaukee and tried my heart out to do so.”

Read AlsoBucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Joins Shaquille O’Neal and Others in a Pitiful NBA Record

Drawing a parallel between Michael Redd and Giannis Antetokounmpo

As of now, the Greek Freak has helped the Bucks reach the postseason five times, which is the same number of times as Mr. Silky. For the last couple of years, Giannis Antetokounmpo has also been facing troubles with the lack of a star teammate who can unburden him and allow him to take the Bucks to the NBA Finals. Last but not least, both of these players were underestimated in their respective NBA Drafts.

Giannis was a mystery during his college years, which was why scouts doubted whether he has a big ceiling. As a result, 14 teams passed this 2-time MVP and allowed the Bucks to lock him in.

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Similarly, the Bucks drafted Redd Hot Mike 43rd in NBA Drafts 2000. But much like how Giannis surprised the world with his crazy growth, Michael went on to average the highest (19 points) among all the picks from that draft class.

Redd also excelled at 3-point shooting as much as Giannis has ruled with his dunking.

One can only hope that Giannis will not retire from the Bucks without a ring, as Redd unfortunately, did.

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Read AlsoGiannis Antetokounmpo Matches Michael Jordan and Inches Closer to LeBron James in a Rare NBA Record

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Sourabh Singh

1266 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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