Did an unexpected loss to the Miami Heat play a significant role in Giannis Antetokounmpo voicing his potential departure from the Milwaukee Bucks? As many NBA fans might have already heard by now, the Bucks star created quite a lot of attention for himself by revealing that he would not sign with the Bucks unless they were all on the same page and willing to make sacrifices in order to win another championship.
Considering that Giannis fell short in the playoffs twice after having won the NBA title after the 2021 NBA Finals, it makes sense that he has grown dissatisfied with the state of the organization. The Bucks ended up losing to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2021-2022 NBA playoffs.
More recently, they were eliminated by Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat during the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs this year. Although both losses undoubtedly affected him, an NBA executive opined that the loss to the Heat in particular is the cause behind his lack of belief in a future with the Milwaukee Bucks. That said, let us take a closer look and find out if there is much truth to these claims.
Did losing to the Heat make Giannis Antetokounmpo contemplate leaving the Milwaukee Bucks?
While the Bucks’ loss to the Boston Celtics during the 2022 playoffs is questionable, many fans defended their team by pointing out that the series went 7 games. More importantly, instrumental players on their roster such as Khris Middleton were injured and did not play in the series.
However, there is no denying that the first-round exit at the hands of Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat was a lot more embarrassing. Milwaukee steamrolled through the entire league during the regular season and finished with the best record in the NBA. Nonetheless, they were swept in the first round by Jimmy and the Heat. Moreover, this series ended in just 5 games.
Although Antetokounmpo was injured for the Bucks-Heat matchup, it still stunned the NBA world to see an 8th seed get the better of the 1st seed and progress deeper into the playoffs. The anonymous NBA executive pointed out that the Greek Freak likely began contemplating leaving the Bucks due to their first-round exit.
“That happening to him in the first round is the reason for the stance he’s taking, which is, ‘I’m not saying I’m not coming back, but I need to see which team we are…Are we a first-round exit team? Or are we really a Finals team that just happened to lose in the first round for different reasons last year?…. They could very well go to the Finals or conference finals this year, and if that happens it would be pretty hard for Giannis to leave.”
We can certainly understand the mixture of emotions that Antetokounmpo might be feeling about the Bucks. Many NBA experts believe that he will leave the Bucks in the near future if they are unable to surround him with talent and go deep into the playoffs once again.