The Milwaukee Bucks duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have gone through a lot as they stand on the doorstep of history.
This season’s NBA have unfolded several stories revolving around players and their bonds with their teammates. One such unique bond developed between Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounpo.
The duo started right from the bottom and now has a shot to win the Championship. They have gone through several storms but have never left each other’s support. Hence they have established themselves as one of the best duos in the NBA.
However, they weren’t this much understanding during their early days as the Milwaukee Bucks. In fact, Giannis did not even care about Middleton. The GreekFreak saw the 29-year-old as his primary rival in 2013. The duo was fighting for minutes on the court, desperate to outdo one another.
“You cannot imagine how hard we went at each other at practice,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic. “Like, I went home and when my family came, I was showing them the scratches I had on my arms. He used to come down and I’d grab him hard.”
“And he’d push me off. I used to hate him. You know: ‘Fck this motherfcker. I’m going to take his f*cking minutes.’ I hated playing against him and practicing against him because he was playing hard. And I was playing hard. And we’d always clash at each other.”
“Giannis and I hated each other on the court because we were fighting for minutes”: Khris Middleton
Middleton echoed Giannis’ words but also added how the duo was fighting for a similar spot. He also highlighted that they pushed each other to such an extent that it helped them get better.
“We hated each other on the court because we were fighting for minutes. Me and him were kind of in the same position. It was a battle every day in practice. We were making each other better, but we were really trying to get into that rotation and start playing.”
Giannis then explained how the lack of having a superstar meant that they could express themselves. He pointed out how the 2016-17 season with the Bucks was the time he realized that bond with Middleton.
“We didn’t have a superstar,” Giannis said. “It was me, Khris. Jabari (Parker) had went down. So, it was me, Khris, and the rest. Rookie Thon (Maker), Rookie Malcolm (Brogdon). Delly (Mathew Dellavedova). So, we were picking each other up. That’s the year we clicked. We knew we gotta be like, ‘I have your back. You gotta have my back.’ ”
On June 27, 2013, the Bucks made Giannis Antetokounmpo the 15th overall pick.
That same summer, they traded for Khris Middleton.
And on June 27, 2021, the two stars brought Milwaukee within two wins of the NBA Finals.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 28, 2021
In the end, they are undoubtedly one of the most versatile duos in the NBA. Giannis has powered his way to clinching the NBA MVP award twice.
He is also the league’s one of the best two-way players. Middleton on the other hand likes to remain out of the spotlight but he is also one of the most versatile players out there.
The duo has come a long way and now they will be hoping to bring the trophy to Milwaukee. It will be a huge moment for both the players as they stand just at the doorstep of history.