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Loyalty fuels Giannis Antetokounmpo's extension with the Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Posted at 9:35 AM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 10:35:08-04

MILWAUKEE — While the acquisition of Damian Lillard may have played a part in Giannis Antetokounmpo's eagerness tosign an extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, he said his loyalty to the city was the driving factor.

“For the Milwaukee Bucks organization, they have been there with me since the beginning," Antetokounmpo explained. "They changed my life. They changed my family's life... And for that, I can't turn my back. Not now, not in the future, not never.”

While the Greek Freak originally shut down any extension talks at Bucks Media Day on Oct. 2 saying it didn't 'make financial sense for him' at the moment, Antetokounmpo signed a three-year, $186 million extension on Monday.

The new deal includes a player option for the 2027-28 season.

Antetokounmpo shared the offer was presented after Sunday's scrimmage at Fiserv Forum. He spent the following day discussing the extension with his family, which included a convincing conversation with his brother and teammate, Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

"He came to me and he told me that this will make sense," Giannis shared. "(Thanasis also said) it's going to take a lot of things off your plate. You're going to take care of your family, be able to build generational wealth for your grandkids, kids, (while also) making you just focus on things that make you happy, which we both know is basketball."

The timeline of events leading up to Monday's extension nearly mirrors his super max deal that was signed in Dec. 2020.

Since Antetokounmpo seemed reluctant to sign a long-term extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, the franchise answered with the aquisition of Jrue Holiday in Nov. 2020.

The Greek Freak agreed to an extension three weeks later before leading the franchise to its first NBA title since 1971.

Antetokounmpo referred to that extension in Tuesday's presser saying it was 'good' for him back then because he was able to just focus on basketball, which helped the Bucks reach the 2021 NBA Finals.

"I didn't have to put myself in a situation like, oh, what if, what if, no, I'm committed," Giannis said. "I'm here... and I want to win another championship.”

The Milwaukee Bucks open its season this Thursday at Fiserv Forum against the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.