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Kevin Durant offers advice for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has expressed his desire to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks until the end of his career, much like Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Manu Ginobili have done over the course of 16-plus seasons in the league.

Yet 11-year veteran Kevin Durant warned the young star on the rise to not let himself get carried away by the fairytale narrative and dictate his own career based on his needs, not the wishes of the fans of the organization.

“I was at that point,” Durant told ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I wanted the same things. I felt like that’s what I…”

Durant paused.

“What I would say to him, I would tell him to play for himself. Because he’s the one out there putting in the work, he’s the one out there getting up in the morning staying committed to the game. Obviously [the comments about staying put] sounds good to the fans in Milwaukee and to the ownership, because he cares so much about wanting to please them and play well for them, and I get it. But his career is about him; it’s about whatever he wants to do and however he feels is right for him. And what type of basketball does he want to play? He’s not going to stay in Milwaukee if he’s not having fun playing the game.”

The Greek Freak is carrying the momentum of bringing Milwaukee to prominence and establishing himself as a perennial star for years to come in the league.

But his shine will only become more resplendent as his team improves, and if there is a point of stillness — he will be forced to evaluate his options, much like Durant did.

Even some of the greats, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played for other organizations — yet are still considered staples of the franchise and have their jersey retired, hanging in the rafters — despite not adhering to that lifer narrative.