No, Giannis didn’t say he was preparing to leave the Bucks in two years

In a GQ interview, Milwaukee Bucks legend Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke about facing challenges elsewhere, which some interpreted as an imminent departure.

NBA stars are lining the pages of GQ Magazine, as Kevin Garnett just did when he offered an in-depth interview with the magazine.

But of course, Giannis did his write-up with flair, earning the coveted cover of the magazine with a headline that reads, “Why Giannis Antetokounmpo Chose the Path of Most Resistance.”

The Bucks star is photographed on the idyllic Mediterranean Coast in Greece as he opens up about life, perspective, perseverance, and his future with the team he helped win a championship.

But in his candor, some interpreted that perhaps Giannis isn’t planning on staying in Milwaukee for long. That’s certainly the case when the following quote is removed from context.

Giannis didn’t say he was planning on leaving the Milwaukee Bucks

Rather than saying he was going to leave the Bucks, Antetokounmpo spoke about how he is open to future challenges in upcoming chapters in his life. He knows how hard it was to win a championship in Milwaukee, and he wondered aloud where the next challenge could take him in his life.

Here’s exactly what Antetokounmpo said in his interview with GQ’s Zach Baron:

“One challenge was to bring a championship here and we did,” he told me. “It was very hard, but we did. Very, very hard. I just love challenges. What’s the next challenge? The next challenge might not be here.” It’s not that he doesn’t love Milwaukee, he said. But he was always wary of things becoming too easy. “Me and my family chose to stay in this city that we all love and has taken care of us—for now,” Giannis said. “In two years, that might change. I’m being totally honest with you. I’m always honest. I love this city. I love this community. I want to help as much as possible.”

To clarify Giannis’ response, Baron spoke with his agent to see whether or not the NBA star was thinking about leaving Milwaukee.

“I don’t think it’s, ‘I’m thinking about leaving the Bucks,’ ” Saratsis told me. “But I think he’s genuinely like: ‘Okay, I have reached the pinnacle. The next challenge is, let’s repeat.’ But what happens if you do repeat? What’s the next challenge? What is that next barrier? When you think about it from a basketball perspective, by the age of 26, this kid has accomplished everything,” Saratsis said. “So sometimes you’re going to have to manufacture what those challenges are.”

Considering the context, it seems like the effervescent 26-year-old NBA champion is musing about his future rather than planning on building a superteam elsewhere.

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