Giannis Antetokounmpo said that all he cares is making the Bucks better for the next season. (1:24).
MILWAUKEE -- Although it has been two months since the Milwaukee Bucks won their 2020-21 NBA championship title, star Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to keep the chip on his shoulders that brought them that title.
"Are you satisfied?" I am not satisfied. Antetokounmpo stated Monday that he is not satisfied with his season-opening news conference. "That's what we have to set as a group. This is the tone I will set as the leader of the team. We know that there will be other teams coming to us, but we are ready.
Antetokounmpo and the rest of his Bucks teammates shared a similar sentiment. They will be ready to move on from last year's disappointing season and concentrate on winning the first title since 1970-71.
Antetokounmpo was fondly nostalgic about bringing the Larry O'Brien Trophy home from the NBA Finals, carrying the trophy through Chick-Fil-A, and taking it to Greece. However, he didn't want Monday to be too focused on the last season.
He said, "Right now, what I want to do is get better." "I don’t care about trophies. I don't care much about MVPs. I don't care what Defensive Player Of The Year is. All of those things are irrelevant to me. Because if I get better, more things will come.
"This is what I have done all my career, and it's why I am here. It's not like there's any weight on my shoulders, I feel the exact same weight. Although we are the champions, I still feel the same weight. Get better."
This is perhaps the most exciting prospect for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks heading into the season: the obvious opportunities they have to improve.
Antetokounmpo, a two-time Finals MVP and MVP, became animated talking about how he built on his performance in Game 6. He was especially proud of his 17 free throws that helped seal the win. He laughed and said, "Life would be great if I could do this." He also pointed out his five blocks in Finals clincher, and said that he wanted to keep that level of defense on all possessions this year.
Antetokounmpo stated, "I want free throws. I have to make them free." "I had to make free shots in order to win that game. There will be many big games where I need to make free throws." This is something I need to improve on. If there is one thing I can take from this game it would be the blocked shots and that. "I was chasing everything."
Antetokounmpo referred to the many ways that some of the greatest players in NBA history continued to "flip" the script, as he said, casting themselves as the underdog. Antetokounmpo noted the many ways great players have stayed motivated, whether it was Shaquille O'Neal using an imaginary slight by David Robinson to motivate him to win against the Spurs every time he had the chance (O'Neal later apologized).
He said, "We all know that we were the 2021 NBA champions, but right now we are just the Milwaukee Bucks again and nobody believes in our abilities." "And nobody believes we can do this again."