Many in the NBA world think that Giannis Antetokounmpo is the mastermind behind the shock firing of Adrian Griffin, but Giannis is setting the record straight.
After the Bucks’ 126-116 win over the Cavs, reporter Lori Nickel asked Giannis if Griffin getting dismissed felt any different to him because he was involved in the hiring process.
He gave a very detailed answer and spoke openly and honestly about the situation.
“This is the thing that I don’t like about the NBA,” Giannis said. “It’s a crazy business. Yesterday, Coach Griff was our head coach. Today, he’s not. And we walk in there and it’s like he was never here. I don’t like that about the NBA and I speak openly about it. But I understand it. It’s business. People being traded, people being waived, people have to change their whole lives just like that (*snaps fingers*). And out there, people creating a narrative that’s not accurate. But I’m a person that I really try to not fall into it. I refuse to fall into the bubble of ‘Oh, this is accurate’ or ‘Oh, this is not accurate’ because always there’s going to be something out there about me, about the team. Like ‘Oh, he did not have a good relationship with Griff.’ False. I loved the guy. I invited him to my wedding, you know?
“I talked with him. I was coached by him and we did very, very, very well. In a position like that you have to understand that when somebody’s being hired at times, the GM might come and ask, ‘What do you think about that? What do you think about this?’ or whatever and not just me, players, people that he trusts their advice. But at times, they make it seem like it’s the players that are making the decision and this guy got traded because he wanted him, but like no. I have a job. My job is to be the best version that I can be and try to lead this team to win games. Like that is why I get paid. I don’t get paid to change people’s lives and make people uncomfortable. I get paid to defend, block shots, and I try to stick to that as much as I can. Because I understand that I don’t like that aspect of it.
“And there’s people that get paid a lot of money to make those decisions and those decisions are hard. And I gotta respect also Jon. Because it’s hard. It’s not easy. But again, me personally, I don’t want to be involved in that. I don’t like that. Have I been in a position to be asked ‘What do you think about that?’ or ‘What do you think about this?’ Yeah, many times. But I was not involved in the hiring of Coach Griff. I talked with him, the same way I talked with Coach Bud. But nobody said I was involved, you know, in hiring Coach Bud because I was a kid. But of course they asked ‘What do you think about this guy? I think he’s a great guy. He looks like a good guy to me. What do you think about Coach Griff?’ Everybody, they’re good people. But ultimately, I don’t make that decision. Lori, don’t get me wrong, I wish I did, you know? I wish I did. But I don’t. I really, I really don’t. I just try to stick with basketball.”