Giannis Slams Reporter For Asking If The Season Was A "Failure"

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Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Five
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 26: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks sits on the bench after losing Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Miami Heat in overtime at Fiserv Forum on April 26, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Giannis had some strong words during his post-game press conference

Two seasons ago, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship as the three-seed. They won 46 games during the regular season. This season, they won 58 games and entered the playoffs as the one-seed. This was in spite of Giannis Antetokounmpo being the only player to average more than 20 points per game. In fact, Giannis absolutely carried the team as he averaged a double-double of 31.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

But it all just fell apart in the playoffs. The Miami Heat played relentlessly and consistently looked like the better team. Furthermore, with Giannis injured for most of Game 1, as well as the entirety of Games 2 and 3, the Bucks' top-heavy vulnerability was on full display. Sealing the 4-1 series victory with a 128-126 overtime win on Wednesday night, the Heat became the fifth eight-seed to down a one-seed. They also became the first to do it since 2011, when the Grizzlies shocked the Spurs. Furthermore, the Heat also became the first team to both upset a one-seed, and be upset as a one-seed.

Giannis Defends Team And Season

Giannis's post-game press conference will go down in history as a defining moment of these playoffs. The forward grew visibly frustrated when asked by The Athletic's Eric Nehm if he considered the season a "failure." Nehm also asked the same question to head coach Mike Budenholzer later in the press conference. Giannis rubbed his face with his hands while muttering "oh my God" before responding.

You asked me the same question last year. Okay, do you get a promotion every year? In your job? No, right? So your work is a failure - yes or no? No. Every year that you work, you work towards something. Which is to get a promotion, take care of your family, provide a house for them, care take of your parents. It's not a failure, it's steps to success...There's always steps to it. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won 6 championships. So the other 9 years was a failure? Yes or no? [Nehm: No] Exactly so you're asking me the wrong question. There's no failure in sports. There's good days, bad days. Some days you are able to be successful, some days you are not. Some days it's your turn, some days it's not your turn. That’s what sports is about. You don’t always win. Some other people are going to win. This year, somebody else is going to win, simple as that. Next year we're going to come back and try and be better and build good habits. Try to play better. Not have a 10 day stretch where we play bad basketball. And hopefully we can win a championship. Those 50 years from 1971 to 2021 where we didn't win a championship - those were 50 years of failure? No it was not. It was steps to it. And we were able to win one and hopefully we can win another one."

Giannis Antetokounmpo, April 26

Giannis proceeded to apologize to Nehm for "making it personal" but his overall message has quickly resonated across the sporting world. The comments of Schefter's tweet are filled with people hailing Giannis as a role model and hero. Furthermore, it was retweeted by notable figures such as JJ Watt. It was also shared by numerous youth basketball programs, who w However, of course, there are a handful of detractors who argued that "but of course there's failure in sports." Regardless, Giannis made a powerful statement about he defines success and how he approaches the sport that he loves.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.