SAN FRANCISCO — Every team is under the microscope during the NBA playoffs, as players take part in the most pressurized games they’ll play over the course of their careers. When teams are eliminated, there are inevitable questions — more in the case of upsets, like the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks suffered at the hands of the No. 8 Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
After the loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo provided a thoughtful — and controversial — answer to whether he felt the Bucks’ season was a failure. The two-minute response is certainly worth your time, but the gist of it is that the two-time MVP doesn’t consider the season a failure because every step, good or bad, leads to growth.
The past couple of days have been riddled with talking heads dissecting the comments, some agreeing and some strongly disagreeing. Prior to Game 6 against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr shared his response to the video, praising Antetokounmpo for his insight:
“My reaction was just how lucky we are to have Giannis in the league and being one of the marquee stars in the league, not only for his talent, but his humanity and his perspective. He’s so right. Are there really 29 failures every year in the league? One team — It just can’t be a zero sum game. The other thing is like these guys — I watch our guys every day and I know this goes on around the league but — these guys work so hard and they put so much into it.
And so, when you hear terms like embarrassment or shame, like, why should anybody on Milwaukee be embarrassed or ashamed that they lost a playoff series? They shouldn’t. Giannis is right. Nobody should be embarrassed. As long as they put in the work and put in the effort, which you know they did, this is sports of the highest level. Miami’s a hell of a team. Jimmy Butler’s one of the great players in the league. Erik Spoelstra’s one of great coaches in the league. You can say all that stuff — upset and one versus eight and all that — these are the greatest players on Earth. They’re competing against each other. And somebody’s gonna win, somebody’s gonna lose. And I just think we’re so lucky to have a guy like Giannis leading our league and talking some sense into people and offering perspective.
… When you read stuff like that, it’s just sort of mind boggling, but it is the world we live in and we all know what we’re signing up for. But it’s great when you have representatives like Giannis to try to talk sense into everybody.”
It’s always interesting to get the perspective of coaches, particularly one who was a former player like Kerr. It’s clear that he agrees with Antetokounmpo, and that he feels that the talent level is so strong in the league, you can’t be upset about losing as long as you put in the effort.
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Publish Date:2023-04-29 07:45:35