Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said he will not request a trade after his team crashed out of the NBA playoffs in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Antetokounmpo watched from the sidelines due to an ankle sprain as the top-seeded Bucks suffered a 4-1 series defeat following Tuesday's 103-94 loss to the Miami Heat.
Attention immediately turned to Antetokounmpo's future, with the reigning MVP set to become a free agent at the end of 2020-21, while he is eligible for a max contract extension worth around $254million this offseason.
But Antetokounmpo dismissed speculation, telling Yahoo Sports: "It's not happening. That's not happening.
"Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season."
“Hopefully we can build a culture in Milwaukee for many years that can come out here and compete every single year for a championship.” pic.twitter.com/2pZKggthDJ— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 9, 2020
The Bucks – eyeing a first championship since 1971 – had finished the regular season with an NBA-best 56-17 record, but Milwaukee struggled inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort.
"If winning a championship was easy, everyone would have one," Antetokounmpo said.
"We lost. Everyone saw that we lost. It's disappointing, but what are we going to do? We're going to keep working. I've got confidence in my team-mates."
Antetokounmpo added: "Everyone has a role to play. You see my brother, Thanasis, he's always up cheering and doing whatever he can when he's not playing. I'm no different. This is a team and I'm going to do whatever I can to help our team win games."
"I trust my team-mates," he continued. "It's supposed to be hard."Published 09 Sep 2020, 10:16 IST