The Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated from the 2019 NBA Playoffs on Saturday night with to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals. It was their fourth straight loss after going up 2-0 to start the series, and that frustration apparently carried over into the postgame press conference.
After a fairly mundane question about the importance of experience in the postseason, Giannis Antetokounmpo stood up and left without saying a word, leaving a confused Khris Middleton sitting there by himself.
It’s not clear what set the Bucks star off, nor did he give any sort of indication about what he was upset about. And even though there was no sort of emotional outburst, it’s still notable for any player, but especially a star of Giannis’ caliber to simply leave in the middle of a press conference in the playoffs.
As for what led to his departure, a good deal of it was likely due to the fact that he just lost the biggest game of his life. Not only that, but it was the Bucks’ fourth straight loss after going up 2-0 on the Raptors less than a week ago.
It’s also worth pointing out, however, that the reporter who asked the question, ESPN’s Malika Andrews, published a story at the buzzer in which sources told her that a Finals run in 2020 would be crucial to whether or not Giannis stays in Milwaukee longterm. Now, it’s unclear if Giannis had seen that story or not, or if it contributed to his reaction, but it certainly is possible.
In any case, this is not a good look for Giannis. It’s not the worst thing in the world, or really that big of a deal, but this was his first failure on a big stage and he didn’t handle it well. He’s young, though, and stuff like this happens. He’ll grow from this moment, both on and off the court.