Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are rolling yet fail to garner the headlines that the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat regularly generate.
The way the Greek Freak sees things, it’s emblematic of how the small-market Bucks routinely fail to receive the respect they rightfully deserve.
Speaking to how he feels that the Bucks deserved more All-Star nods beyond himself and Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo pulled out the disrespect card.
“I want to be honest. I feel like at times that we don’t get as much respect and it’s OK, we haven’t earned anything, at the end of the day,” Antetokounmpo said Friday at shootaround, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.
The Bucks emerged as legitimate title contenders last season, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals as Antetokounmpo earned MVP honors.
However, as Antetokounmpo noted, the Bucks haven’t achieved anything as far as the team is concerned. It’s NBA title or bust for Milwaukee.
“We’re not done,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’ve got a long way to go. We’re on pace, we can probably win 70 games, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to keep getting better. I think the team is getting better game by game and we’re definitely motivated.
“We haven’t done nothing. Not trying to take anything away from the games that we won, but we’ve got a long way to go and I’ve said in the past, but I’ll say it right now that our goal is to play in June and be the best team we can be at that time.”
It must especially burn Giannis and the Bucks that the Celtics and Heat seem to generate more attention and hype. After all, with an NBA-best 41-6 record, both Miami and Boston are left choking on the Bucks’ fumes. Both squads are nine games back of Milwaukee in the East.
Playing the disrespect card is a tried-and-true way to rally the troops, so it makes sense that Antetokounmpo did so. Another thing, though? The Greek Freak is probably dead-on accurate in his assessment.