Giannis Antetokounmpo killed the hopes and dreams of many NBA fans this offseason, when he inked a new, long-term extension to stay with the Bucks.
No doubt, there were many factors that helped determine his decision -- one of which being the pressure he and his team would have faced had he still been set to hit free agency in the summer of '21.
(via ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth)
“I didn’t want the pressure. Not me, personally; I can deal with pressure. I didn’t want the pressure on my teammates and my coaching staff. Going out there and losing a game, and people are talking about ‘Oh, he’s leaving. Oh, he’s staying. Oh, they didn’t play well. Oh, he’s out of there.’ That’s adding more pressure to what we’re trying to accomplish here.
The goal is to win a championship. So going through a year of pressure is almost throwing out the year while I’m entering my prime. I’m not throwing out a year."
We've seen what happens when stars approach the final year of their contract. Not only does it lead to year-long speculation, but it also adds immense pressure to the team to avoid failure and convince their star to stay in town.
With Giannis now a guarantee to be with the Bucks for the next few years, they don't have to worry about that. Hopefully, that will help them meet their high expectations this season.