Next stop for Giannis

The Milwaukee Bucks have not made it to the NBA finals since 1974 when they won a championship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Although they got close in 2019, making it to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost 4-2 in a seven-game series against the Raptors.

It seems like Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP will have a lot to contemplate if he still cannot make it to the NBA finals, let alone win it.

Giannis is 25 now. He will be in a period where most NBA players hit their peak soon. And him still being in Milwaukee will only tarnish his legacy when looking at his skill and what he can accomplish in his career.

Frankly, no matter how great the “Greek Freak” is, all NBA greats need to have a great supporting cast to win a ring. Khris Middleton is the second-option for this Milwaukee team. And while he is a great player, I don’t think him and the rest share Giannis’s mentality to win a ring and be great.

It is impressive that this team has ended up with the best season record twice in 2019 (60-22) and 2020 (56-17). However, the thing that matters most is still an NBA championship. With all Giannis has done in the years he has been with the Bucks. Show-casing his greatness, putting the Bucks on the map. I feel like he has done all he can with the organization, and no one will hold anything against him if he decides to leave his current home. The young buck has now grown up.

There have been two teams that come to mind when people talk about which team Giannis should head for: the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors. I will talk about why both these teams are good options for Giannis to team up.

Miami Heat:

The Miami Heat are a strong team in the East with a lot of solid role-players like Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson as well as their focus on team play. Led by their lone star in Jimmy Butler, who is known for his tough mentality and giving a 100 per cent. Giannis would fit right in with the Heat culture in South Beach. The Heat would also get another star to pair-up with Jimmy Butler and give the rest of the NBA a good run for its money.

The Golden State Warriors:

The Warriors may not come into some people’s minds as they think Giannis will not act like Kevin Durant and go to the best team in the NBA. However, a lot of things have changed since then. The warriors are without vets like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Draymond Green is showing signs of decline. The new Warriors team has not truly been tested with all their star players out on the court after Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s injury in last year’s playoffs. So this team is relatively weaker than the great 2015-2019 Warriors Dynasty. However, this team still has the splash brothers, the best shooting backcourt of all-time. Even though they may age, their non-reliance on their athleticism allows for longevity and does not greatly affect their game. Not to mention the team’s average age is 25.5, which is a pretty young team to work with.

To conclude:

The best thing about joining the Miami Heat would be following the supposedly “tougher route” and having your legacy hold more meaning. Matching up with like-minded players who share the vision of being the best possible version of yourself and winning.

And the best thing about joining the Warriors would see all-star level spectacles week in and week out in San Francisco. The combination of Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be awesome to witness. They will undoubtedly be one of the finest duos in NBA history. The gravity of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson pulling players away from him will allow Giannis to toy with his match-up and score more easily. The Warriors also know what it’s like to win while having fun, they have that champion mentality no other teams possess in the NBA due to them winning back to back and dominating the NBA in the previous decade.

No one knows what the future has in store, but if Giannis picks any of these two teams, you know it will be a good one. “The young buck will have grown.”

Rest In Peace Mamba

I still cannot believe this. I received a call at four in the morning from my friend, telling me that Kobe Bryant had just passed. I asked him if he was pulling a prank, but something in my mind told me that he was not.

Kobe “Jellybean” Bryant, is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen play the sport – mind you that I was born in the late 90s. He was someone that was not especially gifted athletically, but one with spirit so tenacious he would crush his opponents: the mamba mentality. He was the Michael Jordan of our time. And the greatest Laker to ever don the jersey.

The work he put on himself can be heard from the countless stories of people who knew him. I am sure most of you have heard stories about how he would always be the first one in the gym and the last one out. Telling other people that no matter how hard they worked, he was willing to work harder. His drive and love for the game separated himself from the rest.

Not only was he an exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime player. But he was an incredible human being, loved by both Lakers fans and non-Lakers fans alike. He was not just a genius on the court, but also carried himself with this determination he could excel in anything he put his mind into.

He was also a great family man. His love for his wife and daughters, supporting their interests like volleyball and basketball; learning to play instruments for them; becoming his daughter’s dance partner to her prom, and supporting women’s basketball. He was an amazing father. He had this endless curiosity to learn and push himself and the people around him further.

What hurts the most is that Kobe was only 41. He still had half of his life left to live after three years of retirement. His legacy can be felt all over the world, in all sports and the millions of kids and adult alike yelling: “Kobe!” when they shoot something into the trash can.

Kobe was an incredible human being, making people feel strong emotions when he was still alive and now when he is gone from the world. The only thing we can do now is to honour his legacy by remembering him and inheriting his “mamba mentality”, to kill everything and truly push ourselves beyond our limits to be the best we can be. World, Kobe Bryant has signed off for the last time: “Mamba out.”