Giannis Antetokounmpo Hopes to Play 20 Years in the NBA But Admitted They Might Not Be In Milwaukee

Giannis Antetokounmpo has securely fastened himself as the franchise cornerstone with the Milwaukee Bucks. Antetokounmpo has routinely spoken about his long-term future in Milwaukee. However, his latest comments cast doubt that his entire career will be with the Bucks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s historic start to his NBA career

Through his first eight-plus seasons, Antetokounmpo has developed into one of the game’s best talents.

He’s anchored the Bucks’ rise to becoming a championship team after a run to claim the 2021 NBA title. Antekounmpo has earned the 2021 Finals MVP award, won two regular-season MVP awards, garnered five All-Star game selections, received a Defensive Player of the Year award, and racked up three All-Defensive First Team selections and five All-NBA Team nods (three first, two second).

His dominating performance in the 2021 Finals put him alongside Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan by winning multiple MVPs and a Finals MVP by age 26 or younger. Antetokounmpo’s feat placed alongside Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win a regular-season MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award in the same season.

As he moves closer to a decade in the league, Antetokounmpo recently discussed his future plans.

Giannis Antetokounmpo hopes to play 20 years in the NBA but admitted they might not be in Milwaukee

Antetokounmpo is moving through his ninth season and first year of his five-year, $228.2 million supermax contract that runs through the 2025-26 campaign, 

The star forward has routinely spoken about his desire to play the rest of his career with the Bucks. However, his comments have left the door open that the path could lead him elsewhere. During a recent interview with The Athletic‘s Eric Nehm, Antetokounmpo voiced that he wants to play 20 NBA seasons but aired some uncertainty about predicting the future.

“No, I want to play 20 years,” Antetokounmpo said, repeating one of his goals. “Hopefully, I can play all 20 of those years with the Bucks.

“But we’ll see, I can’t predict the future, but that (pointing to the list), that’s a compliment. Being (No.) 24 and I just turned 27. That’s all my hard work that has paid off. But I gotta — we just lost — I gotta keep going. I gotta keep improving as a player. I gotta keep enjoying the game. Gotta stay in the moment, live in the moment and where it’s going to end up when I’m done with it and I’m done with the league and out of the league, who knows.

Antetokounmpo clearly wants to extend his time in Milwaukee well beyond his contract, but numerous factors are at play. The Bucks need to maintain a championship-caliber roster around him, especially as he moves through his 30s.

The two-time league MVP’s No.1 priority will remain on competing for more NBA titles above all else. The onus is on Milwaukee to present that opportunity if they hope to keep him.

Giannis would join Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki for rare feat

What Antetokounmpo has accomplished in his career has put him in an exclusive company in league history.

The 27-year-old’s lofty goal of playing 20 seasons with the Bucks would put him alongside two Hall of Fame talents in Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players to put on a uniform for one franchise for two decades. The NBA has become a much different league, where even playing a decade with a single team is a rarity.

Antetokounmpo could easily fall into that same category with Bryant and Nowitzki due to his unwavering commitment to Milwaukee. It’s paid off by winning an NBA title and could feature more of the same head.

Time will tell, but Antetokounmpo could be pushing toward a two-decade career with the Bucks or maybe not.

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