When asked earlier this month how he manages to control his ego despite everything he has achieved in his NBA career, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke eloquently about what he learned from through basketball and life.
“I understood, like, the mindset to have, that when you focus on the past, it’s your ego,” Antetokounmpo said. “‘I did. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I’ve done that in the past. I’ve won that in the past.’ And when I focus on the future, that’s my pride. Like, “Yeah, next game, game five, I do this and this and that. I’m going to dominate. “It’s your pride talking. Like, that doesn’t happen. Like, you’re right here.
“I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. It’s humility. It’s being humble. It doesn’t create any expectation, go out and enjoy the game. Compete at a high level.”
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Now that Antetokounmpo has added an NBA Championship and an NBA Finals MVP award to his resume, the man is going to flex that ego a bit.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first title since 1971 on Tuesday night, totaling 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in Milwaukee’s 105-98 win over Phoenix. During his post-game media availability, the 26-year-old reflected on his decision to sign a supermax extension with the Bucks last year and the importance of bringing a championship to Milwaukee.
“I couldn’t leave. There was a job that needed to be completed,” Antetokounmpo said. “I feel like the bubble didn’t do us justice. Give credit to the Miami Heat. They played great, but it didn’t do us justice. Everyone was homesick. We are. a family oriented team, we wanted to see our families, but coming back i thought, ‘this is my city. They trust me. They believe in me. They believe in us. ”Even when we lost… obviously I wanted to get the job done.
“But that’s my stubborn side. It’s easy to go somewhere and go and win a championship with someone else. It’s easy. I could go – I don’t want to put anybody in there. ’embarrassment – but I could go to a great team and just do my part and win a championship. But that’s the hard way to do it, and it’s the way to do it and we did it. “
Oh, it’s spicy. But the fun didn’t stop there.
When reminded of an old tweet in which he stated that he never leave Milwaukee Until the Bucks become a championship team, Antetokounmpo joked that he officially wanted to request a trade.
“I’m out now. Can I go now? Said Antetokounmopo. “I want an exchange. Who do I talk to about an exchange? “
Maybe focusing on past successes is part of massaging your ego, but it’s also quite entertaining when Antetokounmpo is the one in front of the microphone.