Giannis Antetokounmpo had a tremendous season this year by averaging 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG while also winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Most likely, his second straight Most Valuable Player Award is on the way. Giannis Antetokounmpo, once again, has been the most dominant and impactful superstar in the NBA during the regular season. Not to mention, he led the Milwaukee Bucks to a 56-17 record which was the best record in the league for the second straight year.
The Bucks were expected to reach the NBA Finals and represent the Eastern Conference, but they lost in 5 games to the Miami Heat in only the second round of the playoffs. While Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the last two games, he was down 3-0 to the Heat in shocking fashion before that. The Bucks looked out of sorts and outplayed on both ends of the floor, fueling rumors that Giannis Antetokounmpo will soon be leaving Milwaukee. There have been tons of chatter that the Golden State Warriors is the best fit for him since they are looking for their replacement for Kevin Durant. D'Angelo Russell wasn't it, and neither was Andrew Wiggins.
Giannis Antetokounmpo alongside Steph and Klay would make the Warriors once again the most dominant team in the NBA and a dynasty to remember. But there are good reasons for Giannis to stay, and it all depends on how he weights out all the factors.
Here are the 3 reasons for Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee and fight for a title or join a Golden State Warriors dynasty.
The Reasons Why Giannis Should Join The Golden State Warriors
3. Big Market, Money, And Spotlight (King Of The Warriors)
Giannis Antetokounmpo would immediately become the King of the Warriors since he is the youngest member of the current Big Three in Golden State, and the most dominant player right now. Just like KD experienced with his time in Oakland, Giannis would boost his notoriety in life to unbelievable heights. Milwaukee is a great city that loves Giannis, but it certainly isn't compared to Oakland in terms of the spotlight. Giannis Antetokounmpo would have the chance to play in a big market every night, benefiting from the millions of dollars that come with it and the unrivaled fame.
Kevin Durant was a star in Oklahoma City, but he gained much more in life by joining the Warriors. KD not only boosted his earnings, as ESPN reports but also gained fame and tremendous sponsorships. Durant was the star of the league while leading the Warriors to battle every night, and Giannis can replicate this in the same way. A player of Antetokounmpo's quality should be in the spotlight 24/7, because of his unique athletic gifts and ability to dominate both ends of the court.
Running with Steph, Klay, and Draymond would boost his clout tremendously across the league. If Giannis wants money from sponsorships, fame from being in the California spotlight, and the chance to play in a big market; he must join the Golden State Warriors.
2. Style Of Play (Unselfish, Surround With The Best Shooters In NBA History)
The style of play Giannis has now in Milwaukee is built entirely around him. While many players dream of this, there are doubts if this leads to winning championships. Giannis is a very unselfish player, and would certainly prefer to be in a system where he is surrounded by some of the best shooters in NBA history. Giannis is currently playing alongside Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, who shoot from 39.2% and 34.1% from three respectively, but they are certainly not as good as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Curry shoots 43.5% from three for his career while Klay knocks down 41.9% of his threes. Giannis Antetokounmpo would destroy defenses inside the paint while Steph and Klay make it rain from outside. What makes Giannis a perfect fit for this Warriors team is the fact that he can run the floor better than anybody in the NBA at his size. Giannis can reach one end of the court to the other in just a few dribbles, which means Steph and Klay can spot up all night long. Giannis has the capability to snatch down rebounds, run the floor, and find his open shooters. This would be the perfect modern offense in the NBA and no team would stand a chance.
While Giannis can't shoot like Kevin Durant, he adds a different dimension to the team that will make them just as dominant. Defensively, he might make the Warriors better since Giannis can defend all five positions and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award for a reason. Giannis with the Warriors means he gets to enjoy playing his basketball without having to carry a very heavy burden in Milwaukee.
1. Championships (Not 1, Not 2, Not 3...)
Giannis with the Warriors would create a Superteam, and there is no question about that. Just like LeBron James said when he joined Miami, Giannis would have a chance to win not 1, not 2, but possibly 3 or more championships. Giannis is 25 years old, while Steph and Klay are 32 and 30 years old respectively. Steph at 35-36 years old can still shoot the ball and is more impactful than at least half the league due to his marksmanship. This Big Three has plenty of time to add to their legacy, and Giannis would be the catalyst for that.
A major factor in the ability of Giannis Antetokounmpo to win in Golden State is the unselfishness of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Klay deserves to be on an All-NBA team every year for what he brings as a shooter and as a lockdown defender, while Steph has been the best point guard in the NBA for a few years now. Yet, they don't mind if they don't touch the ball on a certain possession and just enjoy playing the game. They want to win, have fun doing it at a high level, and welcome anybody who wants to play with them.
There is a reason why Kevin Durant left his original team in Oklahoma City to join the team that beat him. He risked his legacy and the entire NBA Universe scolding him just so he can play alongside Steph and Klay. They are extremely unselfish and play the most fun and attractive brand of basketball in the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo, like Kevin Durant, deserves to be competing for an NBA title and should not have to carry a city's burden on his back. He fits like a glove in Golden State, and he might just have enough convincing him to go there.
The Reasons Why Giannis Should Stay With The Milwaukee Bucks
A reason why Giannis should stay is to show his loyalty to the city that drafted him and loves him. There isn't a bigger star in Milwaukee sports than Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he is truly an icon for the city. The way he plays draws sold-out arenas and he plays at a high level for his fans every night. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a likable character due to his goofy demeanor and dedication to the game of basketball. To come from Greece and dominate the way he has is truly impressive, and Bucks fans will be forever loyal to him.
If Giannis stays, he has a chance to show his loyalty to his city. The Bucks felt they had a gem in Giannis, and he took a few years before blossoming into an MVP caliber player. You simply cannot think of the Bucks in any way without thinking about Giannis Antetokounmpo. The last superstar of his caliber was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971, who won his first NBA title with the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chance to etch his name in Milwaukee lore and showing loyalty is the best way to get there. If Giannis values loyalty more than anything else, which is a bit rare these days, he will stay and fight for Milwaukee.
As mentioned, Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chance to do what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did in Milwaukee. Be staying with the Bucks and fighting for his career with them means he is in the special company of all-time great players. Whenever you think of one-city stars, you think of Kobe Bryant with the Lakers or Tim Duncan with the San Antonio Spurs.
Of course, Michael Jordan spent the latest chunk of his career with the Bulls but Dirk Nowitzki stayed with the Mavericks his whole career. There is something special about a player who is the face of a franchise for eternity, and Giannis had a chance to add this to his legacy. Just like Dominique Wilkins is for Atlanta, Giannis can be the biggest star in Milwaukee Bucks history which is something he will not achieve with the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are becoming known as a "destination city" due to the bright lights and style of play, so he would be just another star for them.
By staying in Milwaukee, Giannis can cement his legacy similar to the likes of Kobe and Dirk and forever be known as "Mr. Bucks" when his jersey is retired.
1. 1 Title With The Bucks Worth More Than 3 With The Warriors
This is a factor that many modern NBA superstars just don't realize. Winning a title for "your team" means more than winning a couple with a Superteam. This may seem old fashioned and inapplicable in the current era of sports, but it is true. If Giannis stays in Milwaukee his whole career and wins one title, it will mean more than joining Steph and Klay (who already have 3 titles) to win a few rings. While Kevin Durant can retire knowing he was a 2-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, there will forever be a massive asterisk next to the titles he won. Modern NBA stars might not think so, but a vast majority of media, NBA players, and fans will.
There is a lot of pressure on Giannis to win a title right now because he has won a ton of individual awards already, but it takes time. If Giannis stays the course, remains patient, and strives for a title with the Bucks, he will go down in history as one of the greatest to have ever played. Not only that, but he will also join the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki as a superstar who won with his team. Dirk could have gone anywhere, and faced a ton of disappointment in the postseason during his career, but managed to put forth one of the greatest postseasons runs in history to defeat the Miami Heat Superteam in 2011. Rather than being just another great player, Dirk is known as one of the most clutch and impactful players to have ever lived. If you ask Dirk, he would do it all over again the same way.
If Giannis joins the Warriors, he can surely have a couple of NBA titles to his name. But will it be fulfilling for him? If it was to Kevin Durant, is there a reason he left to join the Brooklyn Nets to try to win it with a relatively newer franchise? Giannis might not want the backlash and the lack of respect by NBA legends by bolting teams and might decide his goal is to deliver a championship to the city of Milwaukee.