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Giannis Antetokounmpo Gave An Impassioned Explanation For Why The Bucks Season Wasn’t A Failure

The shock of the 2023 NBA postseason occurred on Wednesday night when the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, 128-126. With the loss, Milwaukee, the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference, was officially eliminated from the playoffs in its own building, with Miami securing a 4-1 series win to punch its ticket to the conference semifinals.

This marks the second year in a row that the Bucks won’t win a championship, as the team was eliminated in the conference semis in seven games by Boston last year. After the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked by Eric Nehm of The Athletic if this season was a failure, which led to Milwaukee’s MVP candidate giving a lengthy, passionate answer for why he doesn’t believe that’s the case.

Antetokounmpo brought up that the same reporter asked him last year if the Bucks season is a failure, and spun the question around before going into a passionate speech about how this year went in Milwaukee.

“Do you get a promotion every year in your job?” Antetokounmpo asked. “No, right? So every year you work, it’s a failure, yes or no? No. Every year you work, you work towards something, towards a goal, which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, provide a house for them, or take care of your parents, you work towards a goal. It’s not a failure, it’s step towards success.”

After stressing that he did not want to make his answer personal, Antetokounmpo brought up Michael Jordan and how he only won six championships in 15 years, which Nehm and himself agreed wasn’t evidence that Jordan was a failure. This, in Antetokounmpo’s eyes, is proof that “there’s no failure in sports.”

“There’s good days, bad days, some days you’re able to be successful, some days you’re not, some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not your turn, and that what sport’s about,” Antetokounmpo continued. “You don’t always win, sometimes other people’s gonna win. And this year, somebody else’s gonna win. We’re gonna come back next year, try to be better, try to build good habits, try to play better, not have a 10-day stretch with playing bad basketball. And hopefully we can win a championship, so 50 years from 1971 — 2021 — that we didn’t win a championship, it was 50 years of failure? No it was not, it was steps to it, and we’re able to win one, hopefully we can win another one.”

Antetokounmpo then apologized to Nehm and said he didn’t want to make this personal, but explained that he was not in the right headspace to properly answer the question when it was asked last year.