Giannis put together one of the greatest performances in NBA Finals history to carry the Milwaukee Bucks to a Game 6 victory over the Phoenix Suns to claim the franchise’s first championship since 1971. Antetokounmpo poured in 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks, and even hit a remarkable 17-of-19 attempts from the free throw line.
He was rewarded by being named Finals MVP.
As Antetokounmpo met the press after his amazing performance on Tuesday night, he delivered a quote that had many thinking he was taking shots at LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
“Obviously, I wanted to get the job done… It’s easy to go somewhere and win a championship with somebody else. It’s easy. I could go to a superteam and just my part and win a championship, but this is the hard way to do and we did it.”
Giannis likely did not mean to fire shots at his peers, but it certainly came out that way. Before the season, Antetokounmpo signed a five-year extension with the Bucks when it was widely speculated he would have to leave to win a championship. He proved everybody wrong.
LeBron James left the Cavs to join the Miami Heat that had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and then after taking his talents back four later, he would leave for Los Angeles, where the team would trade for Anthony Davis.
Kevin Durant would leave the OKC Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors, a team that had not only eliminated his team a month prior, but had just won a record amount of NBA regular season games without him. He has since joined the Brooklyn Nets alongside Kyrie Irving, where they now have a super team after James Harden forced the Houston Rockets to trade him there.
Antetokounmpo did it alongside Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and role players like PJ Tucker, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton.