About two months ago, Paul Pierce had some advice for Giannis Antetokounmpo as the superstar Bucks forward debated whether to sign the five-year max contract offer from Milwaukee: take the money!
It appears Giannis was listening or, at the least, was on the same page as The Truth. On Tuesday Giannis indeed signed a five-year max contract extension with the Bucks reportedly worth a league-record $228 million.
Paul was happy to see Giannis take the path less traveled and stay with his club rather than chasing a title with someone else’s.
“What this tells me when he signs this deal — you look at this generation of superstars, you look at LeBron and KD, how they went about getting their championships — [Giannis] wants his legacy to be on his back, not going somewhere else. He’s saying “We want to bring the players to Milwaukee [and win]. I don’t want to have to go anywhere else. That’s a sign of an old school player mentality.”
The signing, at least for now, relieves any pressure for Milwaukee to “impress” Giannis to keep him in town. Paul believes players around the league will take notice the Bucks’ commitment and look harder at joining Giannis in Milwaukee.
“Milwaukee has been a Class A organization. Bud has been a great coach. You see ownership trying to get the pieces around him to further advance his legacy and win a championship,” The Truth said. “Players around the league see this, and when you have a great player in place as your foundation…now when free agency comes, guys are going to look around and say ‘I can go to Milwaukee’ because of Giannis signing this long term deal and having this great organization and culture there.”
But it also starts the clock ticking on their championship window.
“This is their window of opportunity. You locked up arguably the best player in the league,” Paul said. “Now it’s about, what’s next for Giannis and this ball club. They’re going to be one of the best teams in the league. This ownership now has pressure of bringing in the cast to help this guy…I think they’re going to win a title in the next five years, I really do…I’ve said it before, there’s only five players in this league I believe can win a title, and he’s one of them.”
Watch below as the Truth, Rachel Nichols and Amin Elhassan break it down and discuss Chris Paul’s impact on the Suns, as well as expectations for Anthony Davis coming off a championship season.