Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t think he’ll ever play for Raptors

Giannis Antetokounmpo is never seen playing for the Raptors.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Giannis Antetokounmpo never sees himself playing for the Raptors. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

In case there were any Toronto Raptors fans still holding out hope that Giannis Antetokounmpo could one day play for their team, he himself has some bad news for you.

Milwaukee Bucks teammate Serge Ibaka’s cooking/talk show appearance How hungry are you?Antetokounmpo said he has no intention of playing for the Raptors in the future.

“One day Giannis will play for the Toronto Raptors,” Ibaka asked the two-time MVP. “Truth or lie?”

“False,” Antetokounmpo replied.

That’s not a surprising answer, especially since he’s under contract with the Bucks through at least the 2024-25 season. with a player option for the 2025-26 campaign. worth almost 52 million dollars for that season alone.

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The Raptors were reportedly interested in trying to lure Antetokounmpo to Toronto when he was set to become a free agent in 2021. Aside from the obvious basketball reasons for bringing in a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber, there is a personal connection between the Greek-Nigerian superstar and Raptors vice president and team president Masai Ujiri, who is a Nigerian-born, Nigerian-raised Briton.

“Masai has helped me and my family throughout my years in the league,” Antetokounmpo told reporters before the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals in which his Bucks took on the Raptors.

Additionally, when Giannis was first drafted in 2013 and was a complete unknown to the wider basketball world, Ujiri and the Raptors were actively trying to find a way to get him in the draft.

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Despite all the apparent regret Ujiri did for Antetokounmpo, the 27-year-old finally returned to Milwaukee in 2021 and has since won an NBA championship. He’s looking for another one with a strong Bucks team that is once again atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Maybe if Ibaka had asked Antetokounmpo about playing for a team other than the Raptors, he would have gotten a different answer.

Ibaka was a key member of the Raptors team that won the championship in 2019 – the same one that defeated Antetokounmpo in the East Finals. The trauma of that loss is still fresh in Antetokounmpo’s mind, so it makes sense why he will likely never play for the Raptors.

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“It’s probably one of the most painful moments of my career,” Antetokounmpo Ibaka said of the six-game losing streak in which his Bucks took a 2-0 lead only to lose four straight. “I won’t lie. … The first game we beat you by five or seven, the second game we beat you by 20 and then we go to Toronto and the third game goes to [double] over time. We were up 12 with four minutes to go and I think the momentum changed when you guys won that game. And when that momentum changed, we couldn’t get it back.”

Some wounds are only deep.

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