Incoming Bucks coach Adrian Griffin has responded to Giannis Antetokounmpou’s recent comments about his future with the team.
Griffin is yet to coach a single game for the Bucks but Giannis has already made his intentions crystal clear.
He recently told The New York Times that he if he doesn’t feel like “everybody’s going for a championship” then he won’t sign an extension with the franchise.
Griffin has since shared his thoughts on Giannis’ statement.
“Well, Giannis and I are on the same page,” Griffin told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We have a great relationship so far and he’s been just pleasant to get to know. He wants to win and I want to win and it’s that simple. So I respect him. I respect thaw he’s accomplished in this league and we’re here together to win. So I have no problem with that. I think it’s a great partnership. We’re going to lead the team together. When he leads, the others will follow, so I think it’s great.”
The head coach was asked if the comments create a sense of internal pressure within the franchise, but he doesn’t see that way.
“Absolutely not,” Griffin. We’re here. We’re aligned. We’re here to win. And the one thing I talked to my team about and our staff about is just embracing expectations. I have a really good roster. Instead of running from it, we want to embrace it. It just takes one day at a time though. Yes, we want to go far and deep into April, May and June but it’s about just one step at a time and taking care of our controllables and it starts with practice. WE want to be a really good practice team, come in with great energy and concentration and then get ready for the first game. We’re all aligned and I think it’s a good thing. The expectations are good. It’s going to bring the best out of us.”
Giannis and his teammate Khris Middleton both underwent knee surgeries in the offseason but Griffin anticipates they’ll be ready to go for day one of training camp.
The Bucks flamed out in the first round of the playoffs last season in rather embarrassing fashion, so Griffin will no doubt be looking to carry the team deeper than that this upcoming season.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to build brick by brick every day,” Griffin said. “We build our house. That’s one of the things I keep telling our players, every day we’re building our house.”