Theres loyalty, then theres commitment. And then theres Giannis Antetokounmpo, who wont stop professing his love for both the Bucks and the city of Milwaukee.
On Friday, Antetokounmpo told The New York Times Marc Stein, I dont like all these flashy cities like L.A. or Miami. I dont know if I could be the same player if I played in those cities.
That has to be music to Milwaukees ears after The Greek Freak signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension in Sept. 2016 only to be named an All-Star starter and the NBAs Most Improved Player shortly after.
Antetokounmpo is unlike anything or anyone the NBA has ever seen, and it appears at least for now hes the Bucks to lose. Here are some of the other things Giannis has said about Milwaukee since he was drafted four years ago:
I can feel the love from the city every day I step on the floor, he said. For me, what Im going through now, I appreciate it even more. Theres a lot of things you can do in Milwaukee, too.
The Bucks and John Hammond chose me in the draft, got me in the NBA, kept me in the team with a role from my very first season and they are my basketball family. Not only that, but already at this young age, they have enough faith in me as a leader and they are doing everything in order to develop all of my potential. From my side, I feel that I want to be playing in the Bucks. Im not talking about my next contract. The way I feel now, I want to keep playing for the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 20 years! You never know how life turns out. Three years ago I was thinking that I might be playing for Filathlitikos forever! All of a sudden, the draft emerged, the NBA, the Bucks and everything that followed. I dont know how Ill be feeling and thinking in 2, 3 or more years. Right now I feel like I want to play for the Milwaukee Bucks forever Im a guy who doesnt really care about glamour and big markets. I like to be home all day. I get up in the morning, I take a shower and I go to practice. When Im finished, the only thing thats on my mind is to go back home and spend time with my family. I usually feel that I prefer to hide from people.
So far this season, Giannis is averaging 31.3 points on 60 percent shooting from the field and a much-improved 35.3 percent clip from three-point range. (In each of his past three seasons, he shot 16 percent, 26 percent, and 27 percent from distance.) Add in 10.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, and you have a do-it-all Milwaukee Bucks star who could be the front-runner for the NBAs Most Valuable Player of the Year award.
No player has ever won both Most Improved Player and MVP honors in their careers, let alone in consecutive seasons. And if Antetokounmpo who, according to Bucks great Michael Redd, hasnt even learned how to play play yet pulls that off, Milwaukee fans should be very, very happy hes this devoted to their city and their basketball team.