NBA Buzz: Antetokounmpo, DeRozan, Lakers, Irving, Thompson

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo drives to the basket vs. the Wizards. - USA Today images

Giannis Antetokounmpo accomplished exactly what he’s wanted to accomplish ever since his NBA career began, and that is to win a championship for the Bucks.

However, like many athletes, Antetokounmpo could eventually look to chase a new challenge, which he hinted at in an interview with GQ’s Zach Baron.

“One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did,” Antetokounmpo said. “It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What’s the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.

Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us—for now. In two years, that might change. I’m being totally honest with you. I’m always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible.”

Some could interpret that as Antetokounmpo potentially seeking an exit from Milwaukee in the future. Keep in mind, however, that he signed a five-year supermax contract last December, which kicked in at the beginning of this season.

His agent, Alex Saratsis, also doesn’t believe Antetokounmpo is seeking an exit from the only team he’s ever suited up for any time soon.

“I don’t think it’s, ‘I’m thinking about leaving the Bucks,’” Saratsis said. “But I think he’s genuinely like: ‘Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let’s repeat.’ But what happens if you do repeat? What’s the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything. So sometimes you’re going to have to manufacture what those challenges are.”

Antetokounmpo turns 27 next month, but his resume is already good enough for first-ballot recognition into the Basketball Hall-of-Fame.

More NBA Buzz

  • DeMar DeRozan thought he was headed to his hometown Lakers over the offseason, he said in an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Spurs and Lakers were engaged in sign-and-trade discussions before the Lakers ultimately pivoted to Russell Westbrook. For what it’s worth, the Bulls were his second option, and he’s happy it worked out that way.

  • Nets head coach Steve Nash and Kyrie Irving still keep in touch, he revealed in the pregame press conference before the Warriors blew out the Nets in their own arena. However, the two don’t really talk basketball. It’s unknown when, if ever, Irving will rejoin the team he grew up rooting for.

  • Klay Thompson partook in his first five-on-five practice since tearing his Achilles last year, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told Allie LaForce of TNT. This is the next step in Thompson’s recovery, as he had participated in several three-on-three practices before that point. Christmas Day has been targeted as a potential return date for the “Splash Brother,” so the rich should be getting richer in a matter of a few weeks.

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