After the Toronto Raptors completed the four-game comeback to oust the Milwaukee Bucks from the playoffs, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was understandably emotional in the postgame.
Toward the end of his postgame news conference with teammate Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo abruptly departed after being asked about the importance of experience.
Giannis walked out of his presser pic.twitter.com/AI2IG5Gv9Y
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 26, 2019
Some pointed to a recent story regarding Antetokounmpo’s future in Milwaukee hinging on the Bucks making the 2020 Finals. ESPN reporter Malika Andrews, who wrote the piece, was also the one to ask the question.
Despite the article, his departure can’t be attributed to just that, but rather a combination of things. After bouncing the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics, the Bucks jumped to a 2-0 series lead before watching their season vanquish.
As with such, Antetokounmpo was feeling down and that’s OK.
Antetokounmpo finished the night with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double while playing some of the most minutes of his career with 41.
As the Raptors celebrated at mid-court after time expired, Kawhi Leonard took time to meet with a distraught Antetokounmpo.
Leonard said that he congratulated Antetokounmpo on a great season and advised him to keep working.
Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer praised Antetokounmpo and spoke highly of his future after the game
“Giannis is going to get better,” Budenholzer said. “Giannis, we feel like, has got a lot of room to grow.”
Antetokounmpo echoed some of the same sentiments before leaving his conference.
“It’s the start of a long journey and we’re going to get better,” Antetokounmpo said of the future.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 26, 2019
“We’re going to come back next year and believe in who we are, believe in what we’ve built this year and hopefully can be in the same situation and be the ones moving forward.”
Sports, at the end of the day, are played by athletes and those athletes are people. People have emotions and after having a several-plus month season end in heartbreak, it’s OK to feel a certain way.
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