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Giannis could prove to be something Milwaukee has never seen before

“One day we are going to win a championship.”

Those were the words of current Bucks forward/point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo after he expressed his love for the city of Milwaukee and the team on his official blog, EuroHoops.

While the city of Milwaukee has seen stars come and go, the team has been, what seems like forever, searching for that face of the franchise to come in and make them relevant in the NBA again.

Since 2006, the Bucks have made the playoffs just three times and have not gotten out of the first round since the 2000-01 season when they lost in the conference finals in seven games to Allen Iverson and the 76ers.

That year was the first of Michael Redd’s 11 year career in Milwaukee. Redd currently holds the longest tenure of any player that has ever played for Milwaukee. A 20-point per game scorer, Redd was a valuable asset to the team, making the All-Star team in 2004 and giving the Bucks a true outside shooting threat.

The team showed promise around Redd, but the Bucks were never able to get passed the first round of the playoffs.

Since 2000, the Bucks have experienced eight different head coaches. In the 32 years prior to that, the team has only seen six. It has been a rough decade for the Bucks, who saw rock bottom during the 2013-14 season, winning just 15 games and losing out on the top pick in the NBA Draft lottery.

That season was the beginning of Giannis’ career. Drafted 15th overall in the draft prior to the season, Giannis was the definition of raw talent coming it at 6-foot-9 and weighing 215 pounds. A versatile player, it was unknown what to expect out of him right away.

Giannis took some time to get used to the NBA life, averaging just over 18 minutes a game in his rookie campaign, eventually finding himself in the starting lineup towards the end of the season. He finished the year averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Entering the following season, Giannis got a wingman in Jabari Parker that he instantly found a connection with. A revamped roster and a new head coach found the team in the playoffs, stealing two wins from the Chicago Bulls in the first round.

While many of you already know how the Bucks season went (not good), there are many positives to take from this season heading into next year.

One of those positives is how good Giannis can become.

With the theme of “Young Bucks,” surrounding the organization, the assumption is the the young players will mold into talented, NBA stars. However, the looming question will always remain: Will they stay in Milwaukee?

Giannis recently came out and basically guaranteed that one day the Bucks will be NBA champions.

“I’ve become very attached to Milwaukee.” Giannis stated via his blog. “The thought that I might not win a championship in my career doesn’t even exist in my mind. I will win at some point! I will do everything to win a championship.”

Giannis also went on to express thoughts about his role models, goals, and his thoughts on the new arena. Let’s take it one step at a time.

He began talking about his role models – Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan – who both have one thing in common: long tenures with one team. This season, Kobe finally called it quits after 20 seasons with the Lakers. Duncan, if he returns next season, will have spent 20 years with the San Antonio Spurs.

If Giannis chooses to be inspired by the two, it will be a good sign for Milwaukee who has never had a player spend more than 11 seasons with the ball club. Entering the league at the age of 18, if Giannis stayed with Milwaukee until the average age of retirement in the NBA (roughly 36 years old), Giannis would be close to pushing 20 seasons with the Bucks.

“I’m not interested in representing a bigger city, or a larger market, that for many people might be more important to the NBA.” Giannis elaborated in his blog. “I want to achieve something similar to what – for example – Tim Duncan has done in San Antonio or Kobe in Los Angeles. To stay for many years, to succeed in Milwaukee and then for young guys that want to play with me to come here and all of us together to share the highest goals.”

Giannis also aspires to bring another championship to the Bucks, who’s last and only came in 1971. He talked about his dream to one day play in the NBA and now that is here, he sports a “why not us” mindset when it comes to bringing home a title.

“I step on the court and I say to myself, ‘one day there’s going to be a banner here from our championship’. And I feel that as an instinct, but I also believe it. When I was younger I used to tell my friends that one day I would play in the NBA. I had it in my mind. I thought about it all the time, I was certain.”

He is also excited about the new arena that is set to open in the upcoming years.

“Since my second season here, though, even when I hadn’t shown many things and I was still… dangling, I was thinking that one day I’m going to do so much for Milwaukee that when my “journey” comes to an end, they’ll hang my jersey number on the rafters of our new arena.”

Often referred to as a poor man’s Kevin Durant, Giannis has referenced the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar as he plans to move forward. Similar in physique and athleticism, Giannis had this to say regarding Durant,

“I want to do for Milwaukee what Kevin Durant did for Oklahoma City,’” Giannis told his agent Alex Saratis. “I want that legacy, so 20 years from now, I have built this into my own Oklahoma City, so people look at me and say, he left an indelible—I’m using the word indelible, though he didn’t—but indelible mark on the city and franchise and organization.”

Durant also had some kind words regarding the young, budding star.

“Giannis, once he starts to knock down that jumper consistently, he’s going to be a problem. I hope he doesn’t get it any time soon. He’s already a problem now, but once he starts knocking that jumper down, it’s going to be amazing to watch.”

With many promises and goals, Giannis is beginning to come a fan-favorite in the state of Wisconsin. If his words hold up, he could be something that we have never seen before. And that is not a bad thing.

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