Reactions to Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s return to Milwaukee Bucks

Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The first domino has fallen in the Milwaukee Bucks offseason. It has been reported by Michael Scotto via Twitter that Thanasis Antetokounmpo has exercised his player option for the 2022-2023 season and will return to the team.

Reactions to Thanasis Antetokounmpo exercising his player option and returning to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022-2023

While the younger Antetokounmpo gets most of the praise, and deservedly so, Thanasis’ impact on the team should not be overlooked. Over his last three seasons with the Bucks, he has become a fan-favorite and great locker room presence, despite being used in a limited role during his tenure.

Antetokounmpo is loved by the fans due to his bench reactions of the team’s highlight plays. Him, along with the rest of the bench always is into the game and it is part of what makes Milwaukee’s recent teams so special.

Antetokounmpo has more of a role on the court than his limited action would make it seem. Antetokounmpo will sometimes be checked into the game whenever a spark is needed. The most prominent example of Antetokounmpo sparking the team would be in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Brooklyn Nets during the 2021 playoffs.

In the game vs. the Nets, Antetokounmpo logged only 25 seconds of playing time. In fact, if you go to check the box score from that game, it will show Antetokounmpo as having played 0 minutes, which is a rare sight for a player that doesn’t receive a DNP. However, in those 25 seconds, Antetokounmpo provided the Bucks with one of the biggest plays that sparked their title run. Antetokounmpo recorded what was the biggest block of the season at that point during the third quarter, and electrified Fiserv Forum and the team for the rest of the game.

Even though most of his action has come in garbage time, Antetokounmpo has provided some other memorable moments for fans when he’s been given bigger opportunities. One of them was the 2021-2022 regular season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a game where Milwaukee rested their starters, Antetokounmpo put on a show and scored a career high 27 points in 40 minutes of action.

Antetokounmpo was likely only given a roster spot when he first arrived because he is the older brother of a two-time MVP, but to say that he hasn’t had an impact on the team since he came to Milwaukee would not be true. First and foremost, the ultimate goal for the Bucks should be to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo happy. Having his brother in the locker room can go a long way towards making that happen. He’s also been a lightning rod for the team and has fired them up in some very crucial moments. I’m a believer that team chemistry is one of the most important things in basketball and having a player like Thanasis Antetokounmpo in your locker room can be huge for a team.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: 5 takeaways from Jon Horst’s offseason presser. dark

Antetokounmpo’s return means that the NBA offseason is officially in gear. Stay tuned to see what other moves the Milwaukee Bucks will make to improve their roster this summer.