This season definitely isn’t a championship or bust one for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, especially when it hasn’t even been two years since they won a title. But certain expectations come with finishing with the best record in the NBA like the Bucks did during the 2022-23 season. And among those expectations is that they, at the very least, would be one of the last few teams left standing the deeper the playoffs progress.
However, the Bucks melted down in spectacular fashion, losing to the eight-seeded Miami Heat in five games, which was made even worse by the fact that they squandered two very winnable games to end the series. This prompted a very justifiable question from a reporter asking Antetokounmpo whether he thinks the 2022-23 season is a failure for the Bucks following its heartbreaking conclusion.
This prompted an all-time rant from the Bucks star, to which many pundits, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal included, responded. O’Neal, in particular, thought that Giannis Antetokounmpo was right in that he wasn’t a failure, but the Bucks’ season definitely was. And the legendary center doubled down on that take on TNT’s Thursday night broadcast.
“Is the season a failure? Yes. Are you a failure? Hell m-f no. You’re the best player in the world. But before you succeed, you must first learn to fail… It’s okay. You can learn from failure. You can bounce back,” O’Neal said.
“Is the season a failure? Yes. Are you a failure? Hell m-f no. You’re the best player in the world. But before you succeed, you must first learn to fail… It’s okay. You can learn from failure. You can bounce back.”
Shaquille O’Neal on Giannispic.twitter.com/XVTDkQp9F4
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 28, 2023
Of course, no one in their right mind would think that Giannis Antetokounmpo is in any shape or form a failure. Antetokounmpo came from humble beginnings, and to see how far he and the Bucks have come in ten years is simply astounding.
Even then, given the quality of the Bucks roster, one can’t help but feel disappointed by the fact that they flamed out in the first round in five games, the least competitive first-round upset of a one-seed in NBA history.
Perspective matters, and it’s good for Antetokounmpo that he doesn’t feel like a failure even after the Bucks’ crushing loss to the Heat, but the perspective of failure is most definitely something that’s not too hard to understand either.
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