How To Be A Leader – As Demonstrated by Giannis Antetokounmpo

Two-time MVP, leader of his team, one of the emerging faces of the NBA, there isn’t much you can criticize Giannis for, and this just adds to the list.

The Athletic’s beat writer for the Bucks, Eric Nehm, asked Giannis if this season was a failure. It’s important to note that Giannis knows exactly who Eric is, and recognizes that he asked the same exact question as last year. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but this question obviously struck a cord with Giannis. We have seen time and again players walk out of media sessions with questions like this, or players attack media for asking questions that they deem “stupid.” Giannis knew this question was coming after the loss to Miami, and he was able to give a rational, intelligent, and passionate response.

Naturally, most fans and spectators alike would label the number one seed losing to the eight seed in five games as an unmitigated disaster. There are several reasons why they lost, but Giannis is not one of them (despite his free throw struggles in Game 5). In my opinion, the biggest factor was Mike Budenholzer got coached into the Shadow Realm by Erik Spoelstra. 

That aside, when something as bad as this result happens to your organization, having your superstar step up to the podium and handle it in stride like this is the best possible outcome. In his conversation with Nehm, he tries to connect with him on a non-sports level and keeps his composure, while reiterating that it isn’t personal, he just wants him to understand. You can tell Giannis was incredibly frustrated with everything that happened, but he handled it well. 

However, I don’t think the response on social media would be the same if someone like KD or LeBron said this, but I guess thats neither here nor there.

Bottom line: there may not be a single person alive right now you’d want leading your franchise more than Giannis. He has shown time and again he is the most dominant player on the planet, and a good dude. He has a chip, he knows what it takes, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Hard to root against this guy.

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