Another offseason, another August, another opportunity to randomly pull the pin on the Discourse Grenade to generate a little content for 48 hours. This time around, our explosives expert was one Gilbert Arenas.
Arenas, retired and now spending his time commenting on the league and basketball in general from his own podcast, critiqued Giannis last week by stating he doesn’t yet “understand” basketball. As expected, the pushback was immediate and quite widespread, and also as expected, Arenas stuck to his guns and offered up as evidence the lack of skillset development from Giannis year over year.
Now, Giannis doesn’t need anyone to stand up for him, and the context of Arenas’s quote (if I’m being charitable) appears to stem from an unwillingness to see the torch of the sport’s greats passed from the LeBrons of Arenas’s era to the Giannises, Jokics, and Doncics of the next. The motivations for that trepidation could be complex or simplistic — I’ve no idea — but it doesn’t quite matter because, unfortunately, Arenas is right that (as yet) Giannis is not literally immortal.
Just look at discussions among Bucks fans every offseason about what they’d like to see Giannis “lock down” that summer: Free throws, three-pointers, a fleshed-out post-game, passing, etc etc etc. That belies that we’re also realistic that he has his flaws that have yet to be addressed. If they were already a component of his game, Milwaukee would have numerous titles to its name and we’d be starting to flirt with greatest-all-time talk. We don’t and we aren’t. It’s a large reason why we spend so much time analyzing the rest of the roster knowing full well that Giannis isn’t so overpoweringly dominant to push any squad around him over the finish line.
Is Arenas and those of his ilk being harsh? Considering they’re former pros who have no experience playing against Giannis directly, I’d argue yes. But at heart they’re crudely grasping at the reality that good as Giannis has become, there’s still more to add on. So long as Arenas will give credit where credit is due should that growth come to pass, it’s no more than late summer noise.
Sit Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Holiday, Allen, and Lopez.
Start Dimez, Seese, Dawsix, Cooks and Johhny.
Bobby Portis Says Season with Knicks Was ‘Most Miserable Year of My Career’ (Bleacher Report) & ‘Milwaukee changed my life’: Bobby Portis gets real on decision to run it back with Giannis, Bucks (ClutchPoints)
The summer of Bobby Portis continued in earnest, starting by pantsing Knicks fans on Twitter just because he was bored on a Thursday and talking again about the feeling of professional and personal stability Milwaukee has brought to his life. A true testament to the importance a rock-solid organization can have in helping bring the best out of players struggling elsewhere, and also to the quickness of fans to embrace those guys willing to regularly openly gut it out on the court.
2022-23 NBA Season: Milwaukee Bucks Offseason Recap And Season Preview (Fastbreak - Sports Illustrated)
A decent summary here, excepting the factual error of the Bucks letting Donte DiVincenzo walk in free agency. Feels like most people are in agreement that 50+ wins and the Eastern Conference Finals are the minimum success thresholds for this team which makes sense since the roster didn’t shift a ton this offseason. One can argue that it is Finals or bust with Giannis in his prime, but we are in a more competitive era for the NBA generally, so maybe ECF is fair enough.
Bulls Reportedly Interested In Kostas Antetokounmpo (Hoops Rumors)
C’mon man, these guys in Chicago actually thought Giannis’s troll job a few weeks ago was for real? At this point the league should understand that if any team is going to hand out roster spots and cash to Antetokounmpos as a generous thank you to Giannis and have it actually work, it’s going to be us. By the way, Francis is going to look great in Herd green in 2023.
Sounds like the Greek national team has been drawing relatively huge crowds all summer, so I’m happy Giannis is performing at a high level for the fans who would normally rarely get a chance to see him in action. At heart, Eurobasket and other summer activities these guys take part in have a role to play in personal skill development and advancing the sport in general. If Greece, and therefore Giannis, can go far in the tourney, everyone wins.
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Hey guys, just wanted to stop in by the office and see how things are coming along...
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Siri, what’s the definition of a clown show?
Steve Nash, Joe Tsai and Sean Marks met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles on Monday and have decided to move forward with partnership, Nets say.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 23, 2022
Sandro “Christian Wood” Mamukelashvili. Pass me some of whatever my man is lighting up before opening Twitter, please. I’m ready to enter new dimensions.
Against all odds, the most interesting man in the world is contractually a Buck
I’m going to pretend I didn’t see this caption
Just pleased he didn’t blow out every ligament in both knees on that waterlogged Seattle court
Can I get a Greek double-check on the translation here? Just making sure it is all on the up and up
I pray nightly that he becomes the greatest player of all time through sheer rolling of the universal dice
Giannis the type of dude to put on a blindfold and randomly pick pieces for an outfit every morning
All the waiting is finally over with Eurobasket kicking off in earnest this week! Greece, which is part of Group C alongside Estonia, Italy, the UK, Croatia, and Ukraine, begins play on Friday against Croatia in Milan. The game tips at (I believe) 10 AM Central and, per FIBA’s website, Americans can watch the game via ESPN+. For real basketball is back!