Giannis Antetokounmpo: No celebration plans until job is done

2021-07-19T23:06:28+00:00 2021-07-19T23:15:51+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

19/Jul/21 23:06

65,000 people will be cheering and partying from early on. Giannis, on the other hand, wants to keep the focus on the task at hand.

By Eurohoops team/

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are in front of a historic, momentous opportunity, one that that the club hadn’t even come close to over the last 47 years.

Being a win away from the NBA championship.

Ahead of such a moment, Giannis admitted that it’s far from easy to be fully focused on the task at hand and not let excitement take over.

“It’s hard. It’s hard, man, it’s hard,” Antetokounmpo said in the pre-game presser ahead of Game 6 Tuesday (20/7). “Because you work so hard to be in that moment, which is tomorrow. It’s hard not to get ahead of yourself. But this is the time that you got to be the most disciplined. That’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to be as disciplined as possible. Don’t get too excited. Don’t get too pumped up for the game. None of that. I can’t play the game right now. The game is tomorrow and I don’t know, at six or nine, eight, whatever the time is. Right now, there’s nothing I can do about that. So I don’t even try to think about that. But it’s very hard not to. Sometimes you sleep and you’re dreaming about the game.”

Giannis and his teammates have never been there before in their careers. So now they have to master their concentration and not let any distractions lower their focus.

“But this is the time that we have to be disciplined individually,” Giannis said. “Me, Khris, Coach, Jrue, Brook, all of the guys as a team, we got to be disciplined and we cannot worry about that. We cannot worry about having plans of celebrating. None of that, until it’s done. And that is the mindset I’m going to have until tomorrow.

Another reason that makes this game special is that it’s held in Milwaukee. Giannis and the Bucks have the chance to finish the series right home in front of their fans and transform the entire state of Wisconsin into a a giant party house.

“It’s going to be amazing,” Giannis said. “Hopefully we can focus what we got to do and be in the present, compete as much as possible, play good basketball and be the team that wins at the end. Hopefully we can enjoy it with our family and with the fans and they can enjoy it also. I feel like it’s something that you can feel the excitement in the city. The last time we were in the NBA Finals was 1974. It’s been awhile. I’m happy that the fans are enjoying it. There’s 20,000 people in the arena, 25,000 people outside the arena. But we got to focus. We got to do our job. Then they can do their job celebrating at the end. But we got to do our job first.”

Giannis was a bit premature when he calculated the amount of people outside of Fiserv Forum. A bit later, the Bucks announced that certain adjustments will be made in the Deer District around the arena so that 65,000 people will be able to attend.

The fans will shout, scream, cheer and maybe even begin celebrating from very early on. Giannis will be only occupied with the moment he’s currently in, locked on in the “here” and “now” so that he can get the job done and bring Milwaukee the elusive and long-waited championship

“So we got to be in the present as much as possible,” Giannis said. “I can’t focus on celebrating. I can’t focus on that right now because I feel like you get too ahead of yourself. We got to focus. I got to focus right now, and then when the game comes tomorrow, focus on each possession at a time, a possession at a time. As I said, play good basketball, compete as hard as possible and put ourselves in a position to be able to win that game. That’s all can you ask for. Hopefully we win. If we win, great. If we don’t, we have one more chance. But if we win, it would be nice to celebrate with the fans inside and outside and with our families, because this is something historical that is happening in the city right now.”