Giannis Antetokounmpo Knows He Has Nowhere to Go But Up

Liam McKeone
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks are three wins away from the NBA Finals. It's one of the final hurdles for the Greek superstar to leap, as he's won two MVP awards to go along with a Defensive Player of the Year win and an undisputed place among the top five players in the entire league.

Giannis' inability to shoot has been a talking point for several years, though, and in past postseasons has put a bit of a ceiling on how far the Bucks can go. He and the team have figured that out this season with the strongest supporting cast of his young career and the dedication of Giannis to impose his will on opposing defenses, no matter how well they build a wall in front of the paint. The shooting woes remain, however, as each trip to the free throw line is an adventure that comes with a significant chance of a brutal miss and/or airball.

Giannis knows that as well as anybody, and has a good attitude about both that and his past failures, as shown in a behind-the-scenes video the Bucks put out ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

I mean... he's right! He hit the shot clock on a game-winning attempt in Game 7 against the Nets in the previous series. He's airballed free throws and jumpers with regularity this postseason. His team lost as a heavily-favored one-seed in the 2020 bubble playoffs. He couldn't get past Kawhi Leonard in 2019 to get to the Finals. Giannis has gone through all the trials and tribulations that most superstars go through before reaching the pinnacle of basketball excellence, to go along with the public laughter at his jumpshot attempts.

It's unsurprising that he has this attitude, given what we know about Giannis and his bubbly off-court personality. But that only goes so far. If the Bucks fall short again or Giannis disappears in the Finals, there will be noise at a level even he is unaccustomed to. But if he pushes his team to the top and dominates throughout, he'll have hit both the lowest and highest point of an NBA career. At only 26 years-old. The present is bright, but the future may be even brighter for the Milwaukee superstar.