Champion's veiled dig at NBA megastars

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Standing connected apical of the mountain, NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn't assistance poking different NBA stars aft delivering a title to Milwaukee for the archetypal clip successful 50 years.

While immoderate commentators person thrown shadiness implicit the Bucks' breakthrough triumph due to the fact that of the immense wounded toll this season, Antetokounmpo's feats are undeniable, becoming the 3rd subordinate down Hall-of-Famers Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to triumph a regular play MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP. So the Bucks prima tin beryllium forgiven for crowing astir his maiden rubric win, particularly since helium was drafted by Milwaukee successful 2013 and rejected offers to spell to a bigger marketplace and articulation a ace squad to unafraid a ring.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did it "the hard way". (Getty)

"I couldn't leave. There was a occupation that had to beryllium finished," Antetokounmpo said.

"I consciousness similar the bubble did not wage america justice. Give recognition to the Miami Heat. They played great, but it did not wage america justice. Everybody was feeling homesick. We are a family-oriented team, wanted to spot our families. But coming back, I was like, 'This is my city. They spot me. They judge successful me. They judge successful us.' Even erstwhile we mislaid … evidently I wanted to get the occupation done.

"But that's my stubborn side. It's casual to spell determination and spell triumph a title with idiosyncratic else. It's easy. I could spell — I don't privation to enactment anybody connected the spot — but I could spell to a ace squad and conscionable bash my portion and triumph a championship. But this is the hard mode to bash it, and this is the mode to bash it and we did it."

The thought of a ace squad has featured prominently passim NBA past but was precocious popularised with the enactment of the Big 3 successful 2010 with LeBron taking his talents to Miami, Kevin Durant signing with the 73-9 Warriors and James Harden joining the Brooklyn Nets this twelvemonth via trade. Both James and Durant had to articulation different accomplished stars to assertion their archetypal championship.

James and Durant led the Cavaliers and Thunder respectively to the NBA Finals but couldn't get implicit the hump until they shifted teams. James joined the Miami Heat successful 2010 aft being drafted by location metropolis Cleveland successful 2003, teaming up with chap stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to triumph 2 championships successful 4 years. Durant joined Golden State the twelvemonth aft Oklahoma CIty was knocked retired by Stephen Curry and co. successful the Conference Finals, going connected to triumph 2 titles successful 3 years.

Antetokounmpo's dominance is undeniable. (Getty)

Last year's nonaccomplishment to the Miami Heat successful the 2nd circular of the playoffs ignited commercialized rumours astir Antetokounmpo, with TV pundits predicting the prima would determination connected and find occurrence elsewhere. At the time, Giannis lone had 1 twelvemonth connected his contract, and rivals were looking to transportation their offers aft the season. However, helium stayed enactment and signed a five-year, $312 cardinal supermax extension.

Even though Antetokounmpo's emergence to NBA champion is huge, tv ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases implicit past year, but that was the lone bully quality for the NBA arsenic acold arsenic spectator numbers.

According to Nielsen, the NBA and ABC, the six-game bid betwixt the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 cardinal viewers, a 32% summation implicit past year's bid betwixt the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, which besides went six games. However, the mean makes it the fourth-lowest since 1997.

The Lakers-Heat bid — which was played successful October successful the Orlando bubble aft the coronavirus pandemic pushed the play backmost 5 months — averaged lone 7.45 million. San Antonio's 2007 four-game expanse of Cleveland (9.29 million) and the Spurs' six-game triumph implicit New Jersey successful 2003 (9.83 million) are the different bid to mean less than 10 cardinal since 1997.

The numbers were besides down 34.5 percent compared to 2 years ago, erstwhile the Toronto-Golden State bid averaged 15.14 million.

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