Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has no interest in befriending other All-Stars
This summer provided NBA fans with one of the most volatile roster shakeups in league history.
The Western Conference alone saw drastic changes, with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets all making sweeping moves to acquire star players and retool their organizations for a run at the NBA title.
But while the West is sure to be a bloodbath, the East is still likely to be defined by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and he is considered to be a favorite to repeat as MVP.
Antetokounmpo also has no interest in establishing friendships with other All-Stars. He told Sam Amick of The Athletic that while he still wants to learn for other great players, he is focused on doing everything he can to help his teammates improve:
“Man, it’s not that I don’t want to (learn from other stars). I get better every day. I’ll learn from the 15th player on our team. I’ll learn from (Bucks reserve guard) Frank Mason. But my competitive nature is so high that when I go and practice (with other stars), I can’t do it. That’s me. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s me. I just know myself. I know that because I’m a nice person, I’m going to start building relationships (with those other stars). And then I’m going to go against those guys, and they’re going to be my friends.”
“I want to play for 20 years and just play, and then make friendships at the end.”
The statement should come as no surprise. Giannis plays big, but he is hardly one to long for the spotlight.
Antetokounmpo has repeatedly said that he has no interest in recruiting other superstars or playing in a big market. In an ideal world, he will help lead the Bucks to the NBA Finals and sign a supermax extension when he becomes eligible in 2020.