The Bucks star was prompted on whether he considered the season a “failure” after an unexpected playoffs loss. His perspective has been praised around the league and beyond.
Who is he? Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 28-year-old power forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, lovingly dubbed the “Greek Freak.”
After suffering a back injury in game one of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs, the NBA star was trying to catch his team up.
What’s the big deal? In a 128-126 upset, the Miami Heat win knocked the Bucks out of the playoffs. But it was Antetokounmpo’s reaction that people kept talking about days later.
In the post-match press conference, a reporter asked him if, given the shock result, he considered the season a failure.
In a lot of professional sports, the GOAT culture debate places championship rings over the journey to those rings. Antetokounmpo’s perspective goes against that thinking and the “rings or else” framing.
It’s been picked up and circulated everywhere from social media to news articles, and held up as an example of the “growth mindset.”
Antetokounmpo, after being asked if he considered the past season a failure:
Do you get a promotion every year at your job? No, right? So every year, your work is a failure? No. Every year, you work towards something, which is a goal: It’s to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, provide a house for them, or take care of your parents. It’s not a failure, it’s steps to success. There’s always steps to it. Michael Jordan played for 15 years and won 6 championships. The other 9 years were a failure? That’s what you’re telling me.
There’s no failure in sports. There’s good days, bad days, some days you are able to be successful, some days you’re not, some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not your turn. That’s what sport’s about. You don’t always win, some other people are gonna win. And this year, someone else is gonna win. Simple as that.
So 50 years from 1971-2021 that we didn’t win a championship, it was 50 years of failure? No it was not, there were steps to it, and we were able to win one, hopefully we can win another one.
"Michael Jordan played fifteen years. Won six championships. The other nine years were a failure?"
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Antetokounmpo:
My reaction was just how lucky we are to have Giannis in the league and being one of the marquee stars in the league, not only for his talent, but his humanity and his perspective. He’s so right. Are there really 29 failures every year in the league? One team, it just can’t be a zero sum game. The other thing is, like, these guys — I watch our guys every day and I know this goes on around the league — but, these guys work so hard and they put so much into it.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s reaction:
What Antetokounmpo said was fantastic … Failure is when you don’t try to do something as well as you can. When you try to do your best, you have a clear conscience, and that’s never a failure, not just in sport but in life.
“There’s no failure in sports. It’s steps to success.” – @Giannis_An34
The conference semifinals continue on Monday night, with the Philadelphia 76ers facing off against the Boston Celtics.
Antetokounmpo on his future plans: “We’re gonna come back next year, try to be better, try to build good habits, try to play better, not have 10 days straight of bad basketball, and hopefully we can win a championship.”
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona and music although she has also made songs with themes supporting LGBTQ rights, female empowerment, and autism awareness.
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.
The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe. The Omnichord Real Book is available for pre-order now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital.
“It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”
“This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”
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