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NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo shares wise words on failure and success: 'You work toward a goal'

The elite star did not disguise his contempt for the question he had been asked last year too, saying, "You work toward a goal."

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo shares wise words on failure and success: 'You work toward a goal'
Cover Image Source: Twitter / @NBAonTNT

NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was most certainly fed up with answering the press in the media center after his team, Milwaukee Bucks, had just been knocked out of the playoffs by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler, on April 27, 2023. According to Inc.,  the basketball legend appeared before the reporters after the elimination by the Miami Heat after a five-game series, notably the most upsetting losses in NBA playoff history.

Antetokounmpo did not disguise his contempt for the question he had just been asked for the second time after a year. The query came from The Athletic reporter Eric Nehm, "Do you view this season as a failure?" 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 18: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks speaks during media availability as part of 2023 NBA All Star Weekend on February 18, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Image Source: Getty Images | Alex Goodlett

Antetokounmpo sighed and rubbed his hands on his face before groaning and trying to understand the vacuity of the question he was just asked. Saturated by rhetorical questions regarding the successes or failures during his career, Antetokounmpo decided to take the opportunity to debunk any superficial assumptions. "You asked me the same question last year, Eric," replied Antetokounmpo.

"Do you get a promotion every year? On your job? No, right? So, every year, your work is a failure. Yes or no? Every year you work, you work toward something. Toward a goal, right? Which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, to be able to, I don't know, provide the house for them or take care of your parents. You work toward a goal. It's not a failure. It's steps to success," he continued.


Antetokounmpo proceeded to share his idea of what failure is, or if there is even such a thing. "Michael Jordan played 15 years," he said. "Won six championships. Those nine years were a failure? That's what you're telling me? I'm asking you a question — yes or no?"

"No," said the reporter. "Exactly, so, why did you ask me that question? It's a wrong question. There's no failure in sports. There are good days and bad days; some days you can be successful, and some days, you are not," responded Antetokounmpo. "Some days it is your turn, some days it's not. That's what sports is about. You don't always win.”






The NBA star added, "So, 50 years from 1971 to 2021 that we didn't win the championship, it was 50 years of failure? No, it was not. They were steps to it, you know? And we were able to win one. Hopefully, we can win another one." The clip went viral on the internet, garnering over 1.5 million views on Twitter.

Antetokounmpo seemed to have struck a chord among many viewers and other basketball players with his encouraging and electrifying take on the journey of success. The Most Valuable Player in the NBA, Antetokounmpo takes his sport very seriously and shared what responsibilities he feels come with such a title. 

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 24: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Kaseya Center on April 24, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Image Source: Getty Images | Megan Briggs

According to The Guardian, he has described himself as "desperate", "obsessed" and "scared to lose what God has given me and the life that I've provided for my kids and my brothers and my mom." He said, "I f**king work as hard as I can because I don't want to lose this sh**. And it's not gonna stop until I'm out of this league."

In an era of lousy apologies, social media svengalis and insensitivity, Antetokounmpo's response was a lesson on emotional intelligence and the ability to process a loss, which was rather heartwarming to hear from an elite athlete. Instead of enduring the humiliation or embarrassment of losing to something, the NBA star urged everyone to view it as a "step to success."

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