SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Memory lane wasn’t a part of this plan.

As I’d advised Giannis Antetokounmpo whereas he walked out of the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Wednesday, this was alleged to be an MVP dialogue. With a lot of that dialog centered on Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, and with the Milwaukee star placing up historic numbers of his personal in relative obscurity, it appeared like the right time to get his perspective on this race that he claims to have fully ignored.

But Antetokounmpo had revealed one thing fascinating within the postgame press convention that preceded our chat, when he pushed again towards this reporter’s assumption that the Bucks’ championship final season had led to league-wide respect from their rivals. It was a refined refute, the type of intriguing remark that made you marvel the place it got here from however was left unexplained earlier than he left the room.

So because the two-time MVP settled in afterward and leaned towards a brick wall close to the exits, his coaches and teammates all headed for an off-day wine nation journey in Napa whereas Antetokounmpo stayed behind to spend time along with his household, readability got here within the type of our 10-minute dialog. And as Antetokounmpo made clear, he’s been noticing the way in which folks discuss what the Bucks did final June.

As is all the time the case with a championship squad, there have been breaks that got here alongside the way in which. The Kevin Durant toe-over-the-line shot in Game 7 towards Brooklyn within the second spherical. The

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