NBA Star Causes Major Controversy with Nuance, Emotional Maturity
How dare he!
By T. Kent Jones
MILWAUKEE - After the top-seeded Bucks were sent home with a shocking 4-1 dismissal by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs, forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked if he considered the season a failure.
His heated response has gone viral.
“It’s not a failure, it’s steps to success. There’s always steps to it. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships, The other nine years [were] a failure? That’s what you’re telling me?” - Giannis Antetokounmpo
The backlash was immediate.
“What kind of surrender squirrel talks like that?” demanded one Eastern Conference assistant coach. “There IS failure in sports. And shame. And addiction. And despair. And two messy divorces. And moving to Tampa. And dividing the DVDs. The fact that he has priorities OTHER than a few millionaires’ abilities to put a ball into a metal hoop is frankly disturbing to me.”
An executive for the New York Knicks agreed.
“Earth to Giannis—when you lose, you are required to let reporters define the narrative. You are a loser and a failure. End of story. If he can’t throw all the hard work and dedication of his fellow teammates under the bus when one reporter asks him to, then maybe he doesn’t belong in this league.”
And of course, the online community had their takes.
“Just because he has an inspiring immigrant story and brought a championship to
Milwaukee for the first time in decades and is one of three players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26, he thinks he can just spout off about anything? I’m sick of all your ‘nuance,’ Johnny. Shut up and dribble.” opined one NBA blogger.
One Texas high school coach complained that Giannis’ equanimity was making it hard for him to instill a win-at-all-costs mentality in his players.
“What do I say to my kids—if you work hard, maybe one day you’ll get beat by the Miami Heat in 5 games? And then speak to the press like a fully actualized adult? He’s ruined it for me.”
One NBA player who is 100% definitely not Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks added his two cents, saying, “Petulance and revenge are what built this league. I will NOT have some LOSER tell me when to grow up. Hey Giannis, your emotional maturity is not the boss of me. Come drop 40 on me and then maybe we’ll talk.”
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