In his first season with the Bucks, Jrue Holiday clinched a championship alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and now he’s been replaced.
“Jrue is my f–king brother for life,” Antetokounmpo said of Holiday, via Chris Haynes. “I love his family. I love him. I appreciate him. I wish him nothing but the best. He blessed me with a f*cking championship.”
A day after Holiday declared he wanted to be a Buck for life, he was traded as part of a three-team blockbuster deal to get Damian Lillard to Milwaukee.
Despite having a big say in what happens at the Bucks franchise, Antetokounmpo wasn’t consulted about the trade because of his relationship with Holiday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
“He literally played no role,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN. “In fact, John Horst, Milwaukee’s GM, he did not bring this trade idea or sign-off on it to Giannis Antetokounmpo because Jrue Holiday was involved… he did not want to put that on Giannis Antetokounmpo and have that on his conscience.”
The Greek Freak was very vocal about his desire to win another championship over the summer and even though he didn’t have a direct influence on the deal, Wojnarowski says that Dame to the Bucks was a play to keep Giannis around long-term.
“Giannis didn’t have any real direct influence on it,” Wojnarowski said. “Certainly in the broader scope, Horst makes this decision, the Bucks make this decision believing that it gives them the best chance to win more titles, to contend over a longer period of time with Giannis Antetokounmpo and of course it gives them, they think, a better chance to get him to do a new deal with them when he’s ready to sign an extension.”
Obviously, acquiring Lillard doesn’t automatically mean that the two-time MVP will stick around once his contract is up, but it certainly helps the Bucks’ cause.
The 2021 champions have shot to the top of the NBA title favorites list following the trade.
It is interesting to note that in Holiday’s time at the Bucks his three-point shooting percentage (39.5 percent) is actually better than Lillard’s three-point percentage (37.2 percent).
Antetokounmpo and Lillard are both stars in their own right, so will they be able to share the spotlight?