It’s the news Milwaukee Bucks fans have been hoping to hear for months - two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will sign his supermax extension, according to the man himself.
“This is my home, this is my city,” Antetokounmpo said via Twitter. “
I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next five years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it.”
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The extension, which secures Antetokounmpo through the 2025-26 season, guarantees the four-time All-Star a record $228.2 million ($301.8m AUD) on top of the $27.5 million he is owed this coming season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Antetokounmpo can reportedly opt out of the contract in the summer of 2025.
Had he not signed the extension, Antetokounmpo’s impending 2021 free agency would have been one of the biggest storylines of the coming season.
He is arguably the league’s most important player on both ends of the floor, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon this past season as the third player to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honours in the same year. Every NBA team would have coveted him.
Instead, he becomes the rare superstar to remain committed to a small-market team beyond his rookie extension, offering hope that player movement may not destroy the balance of the league.
This is my home, this is my city.. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it. 🤎🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
Antetokounmpo previously played coy when asked about the possibility of an extension, suggesting his loyalty to Milwaukee would remain as long as the franchise continued to commit to build a championship contender around him.
The Bucks were on a 70-win pace for much of last season, finishing with the Eastern Conference’s best record for a second consecutive season. After reaching the conference finals in 2019, Milwaukee’s playoff hopes were dashed in the second round this year.
Antetokounmpo met with Bucks brass to discuss the direction of the franchise ahead of the 2020-21 season, and they have apparently earned his confidence.
Bucks fans celebrate Giannis Antetokounmpo extension
After months of uncertainty about the two-time MVP’s future with in Milwaukee was finally laid to rest, Bucks fans went wild on social media.
i’m so sad bucks fans don’t get to be in the arena for giannis’ first home game after singing the extension. the applause he would get would be deafening. cant wait for that in the future. well deserved @Giannis_An34, Milwaukee loves you. go @bucks 🦌 pic.twitter.com/lFlnFDuyQb
— 🦌 (@SnellSZN) December 15, 2020
HOW IM SLEEPING THE NEXT FIVE YEARS NOW THAT GIANNIS SIGNED pic.twitter.com/vGF8A98gHU
— Moneybagg Yo(hannes) 🇪🇷 (@AronYohannes) December 16, 2020
Wonderful for Milwaukee and Wisconsin! Giannis is a terrific talent...and awesome young man. But I think about another terrific talent and awesome young man who passed thru there, starting some 51 years ago, @kaj33. He deserved even MORE! He was/is the G.O.A.T.! #NBA @NBA
— Ron Mott (@RonMott) December 16, 2020
Good for Giannis. In an era of aggressively mercenary--and at times feckless--NBA stars, he stands out. If anything, he is loyal to a fault, esp. to coach Bud. https://t.co/UwGF1kYN5N
— Christopher Orr (@OrrChris) December 15, 2020
I’m glad Giannis re-upped w/the Bucks. You can’t have a league where every star forces his way to one of 5-6 teams. Learn from the most popular league in America, the NFL. In the NFL, the Packers, Chiefs can dominate. In MLB/NBA, the Royals, Bucks, and Brewers really can’t.
— Larry Krueger (@sportslarryknbr) December 15, 2020
I'm happy for Giannis. I like the move for the NBA too.
More good teams, the better.
— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) December 15, 2020
Antetokounmpo’s rise is a remarkable one. Drafted 15th in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft out of a relatively small Greek basketball league, he arrived in Milwaukee a raw and lanky talent.
He has harnessed his athleticism to become one of the league’s strongest and most skilled point forwards, capturing Most Improved Player honours in 2017 before winning back-to-back MVP awards over the past two seasons.
The son of Nigerian immigrants in Greece, Antetokounmpo famously sold watches and sunglasses on the streets of his Athens neighbourhood, along with his brother and Bucks teammate Thanasis.
With a signature on his supermax extension, Antetokounmpo’s career earnings in Milwaukee are $335 million and counting.
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