During their early days with the Milwaukee Bucks, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo were rumored to hate each other. The two were linked to each other in 2016, but it was widely believed that Middleton was trying to get Antetokounmpo to join him in a trade to the Boston Celtics. A year later, the Boston Celtics were rumored to be interested in Middleton as a potential trade piece, but he was ultimately not dealt. The two have a history together, which continues to this day.
In an interview with KLOS-FM’s Charlamagne tha God, Khris Middleton took credit for the growth that Giannis Antetokounmpo experienced during his time with the Bucks. Middleton said, “He hated me. I pushed him and I pushed him and I pushed him. And he just kept going and going, like, ‘I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. Keep pushing.’ And I’m like, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you. Keep pushing.’ That’s how you’re supposed to push a person to be great.”
It’s been a rough few years for the Bucks, but as their fanbase slowly turns around, the team has undergone a remarkable turnaround. The latest example of their revitalization came on Monday, when the team traded Khris Middleton to the Boston Celtics for Eric Bledsoe and a protected 2017 first-round pick. The trade was a clear win for the team, and now the Bucks are in a position to build for the future. But it’s also been a win for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will be making his first trip to the All-Star Game in mid-February. The Bucks’ future is bright, and with the team in position to compete for a championship in the near future, the. Read more about bucks giannis and let us know what you think.Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Middleton have become one of the best duos in the NBA in recent years, putting the Milwaukee Bucks in position to win their first championship in four decades. Of course, it won’t be easy, as Antitokounmpo could miss the entire series against the Phoenix Suns due to an injury to his left knee that kept him out of the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks.
Fortunately for the Bucks, Middleton stepped up and averaged 29 points in those two games, helping Milwaukee win the series. And whether Giannis makes it to the NBA Finals or not, Middleton will have to start over because even if Antetokounmpo does, he won’t be 100%.
If the Bucks can win their first NBA title since 1971, with or without the two-time NBA MVP, it will end a journey that began eight years ago when Antetokounmpo and Middleton arrived in Milwaukee, each eager to prove themselves. But while they’ve become good teammates and friends over the years, that certainly wasn’t the case, as both admitted that they hated each other in the beginning because they were fighting for minutes, which meant fighting in practice to earn those minutes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Middleton have been with the Milwaukee Bucks since 2013
The 27th. In June 2013, the Milwaukee Bucks selected the then 18-year-old Antetokounmpo as their 15th player. NBA draft pick, who had already made a name for himself in his native Greece with the club Philatelitikos. Although he averaged less than 10 points in Greek A2 competition in 2012-13, his potential was easy to see due to his combination of size, speed and athletic ability.
A month and four days later, the Bucks sent point guard Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons and received Brandon Knight, Vyacheslav Kravtsov and Middleton in return. The Pistons selected Middleton with the 39th pick. He appeared just 27 times in 2012-13 (split between the NBA and D-League), averaging 6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton hated each other in theirdebut.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton, both eager to prove themselves on the Bucks’ roster, often faced each other on the floor during practice to defend each other. And if you’ve ever seen them, you know they’re not the kind of guys who like to relax. So they started chasing each other, and none of them had any physical problems.
Antitokounmpo later told The Athletic that when his family came over from Greece, he showed them the scrapes he got from Middleton and admitted he wasn’t her biggest fan.
I used to hate him. You know: To hell with the bastard. I’ll take his fucking minutes.
I hated playing against him and coaching him, because he played hard. And I played hard. And we were always at odds with each other.
Giannis Antetokounmpo on Chris Middleton
And the feeling was mutual, of course.
We hated each other on the field because we were fighting for minutes. He and I were in the same position. It was a battle every day during training. We improved each other, but we really tried to get in that rotation and play.
Chris Middleton to Giannis Antetokounmpo
As time went on, they no longer competed for minutes, but became regular drivers on the grid. And it’s fair to say that both have stood the test of time.
Both became superstars and led the Bucks to the NBA Finals for the first time since.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Middleton with Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer after Game 7 of the Bucks’ second-round series against the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021 NBA playoffs.
In the 2013-14 season, the first time Antetokounmpo and Middleton played together, the Bucks posted the worst record in the NBA at 15-67. And now Milwaukee is in its first NBA Finals since 1974. In the past eight years, Giannis has been a two-time NBA MVP, five-time NBA All-Star, five-time NBA Player of the Year, four-time Defensive Player of the Year and one-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Middleton hasn’t received as many awards and recognition, but he’s still a two-time All-Star and has established himself as one of the league’s best players and a dynamic No. 2 for the Bucks, averaging 19.9 points over the past four seasons. And, as mentioned earlier, he has proven he can handle the pressure of being the first pick since he replaced Giannis in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Whether the Bucks win the NBA Finals remains to be seen, and those odds will increase dramatically with Antetokounmpo on the court. But even if they don’t, Milwaukee will remain competitive for the foreseeable future, and this probably won’t be the last time we see them in this situation. It’s been a long journey for Antetokounmpo and Middleton, who have had to endure losses, multiple coach changes, injuries and more.
And given how they interacted, that makes their story even better.
Statistics provided by Basketball Reference
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