I’m tired of being disrespected

With the Milwaukee Bucks at home in the second round of the playoffs and named absent from the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams, Giannis Antetokounmpo has a message. He’s tired of being disrespected.

His words were posted on Twitter Tuesday along with a photo of himself stark doused in green with a vow: “I’m coming.”

That’s it. There is no context. no quote. No link to a critical story. There is no explanation as to who or what is coming for it. While the specific purpose of the letter is left open to interpretation, the broad outlines are clear.

Antetokounmpo is stockpiling catalytic fuel.

Take, for example, Tuesday’s announcement of the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams that included big men Garen Jackson Jr., Evan Mobley, Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green and Bucks teammate Brock Lopez. But there is no Antetokounmpo, a former Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Defensive Team member.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had another message for pundits after being left off the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams. (Christopher Creveling/Reuters)

Antetokounmpo — at the peak of his career and coming off a season finale MVP — remains an elite defender in the NBA. But his absence from the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams wasn’t conspicuous. While he was the Bucks unit announcer He led the NBA in defensive ratingsHe also recorded career lows in both blocks (0.8) and steals (0.8) per game.

Meanwhile, Lopez led the league in total blocks, and voters recognized Milwaukee’s defensive dominance by naming him and Junior Holiday point guard to the All-Defensive teams. That they found other big men in the league worth more than Antetokounmpo is a slim possibility that’s possible but not actual.

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Tuesday wasn’t the first postseason awards snub that could stoke the Antetokounmpo fire. While he was honored as a MVP finalist, Antetokounmpo was largely an afterthought in a conversation centered around Joel Embiid and Nikola Joki. In the end, Antetokounmpo (12 first-place votes) finished third, far behind Embiid, who earned his first MVP with 73 first-place votes.

But perhaps more than anything, the response to Milwaukee’s first-round playoff exit made Antetokounmpo feel like a target for disrespect. In the aftermath of Milwaukee’s first-round exit to the Miami Heat, reporter Eric Nehm asked Antetokounmpo if he viewed the season as a failure. Antetokounmpo took the question personally.

“This is not a failure,” said Antetokounmo. “They are steps to success. There are always steps to that. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships, nine more years [were] to fail? That’s what you tell me. …

“Why are you asking me that question? It’s the wrong question. There is no failure in sports. There are good days, bad days. Some days you can be successful. Some days you can’t. Some days it’s your turn. Some days it’s not.” “And that’s what sport is about. You don’t always win. Sometimes other people win. And this year, someone else will win. Easy like that. We’ll be back next year to try and be better.”

Is it fair to label Milwaukee’s season a flop? The Bucks posted the best league record in the league, then lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat while picking up one win in a best-of-seven series. In terms of evaluating wins and losses in professional sports, the result is a categorical and utter failure. Bucks management agreed and fired head coach Mike Budenholzer after five seasons on the job.

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Instead, Antetokounmpo shifted the focus of the failure concept and responded with the bigger picture in mind. He is the best player twice. He is the NBA champion. he Securing $335 million in claimed and future earnings Does not include endorsements. He has a family with two young sons He was proud to take her to the zoo Sunday. And that’s just it.

All of his Bucks teammates, along with every player in the league, are among the best players to have reached the pinnacle of their chosen career. In these terms, it’s ridiculous to paint the Bucks — or any NBA athlete — as a failure. Just the suggestion is more fuel for Antetokounmpo.

He’s been in a similar situation before. Just two seasons ago, he was a two-time MVP who failed to advance to the NBA Finals, which is less secure than the NBA Championship. The questions were loud. Could he lead the Bucks to the title, or was he destined to end his career as one of the greats to retire without a ring? He answered them emphatically with an all-time great finishing effort to lead the Bucks past the Phoenix Suns for the 2021 championship.

Now, after removing two seasons, the Bucks are facing questions again – some of which are legitimate. But the game’s best players and biggest winners harvested the fuel at every opportunity. And Antetokounmpo piles up filth whenever and wherever he finds it.

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