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 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?"
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.
“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won 6 championships. The other 9 years were a failure?"— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 27, 2023
-Giannis' passionate response to if he considers the Bucks' season a failure pic.twitter.com/G5VtwnGXYq
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.”
I love that Giannis is giving us some life perspective! #unscripted— ginobilisaurus (@ginobilisaurus) April 27, 2023
Solid response & in some ways phrasing the question that way speaks to the short sightedness and/or disingenuousness of that reporter. The relentless pursuit of excellence is the success & winning is its way of expression when it happens. Never accepting losing, but not failure— QEInfinity (@QEInfinity1) April 28, 2023
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.
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."