Giannis Antetokounmpo Throws Shade at Doc Rivers in Europe Visit

The Milwaukee Bucks superstar didn't miss the chance to shade his head coach on a trip to Europe.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After his season was cut short due to injury and the Milwaukee Bucks lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been spending time in Europe. Over the past weekend, he was in Berlin, Germany to watch the Euroleague Final Four and support his younger brother Kostas Antetokounmpo.

Kostas, who plays for Panathinaikos of Greece, helped his team win the European title on Sunday afternoon. After the Final win against Real Madrid, Giannis joined in on the celebration.

There, he approached Panathinaikos head coach Ergin Ataman, calling him the "No. 1 coach in the world", adding that he "would love to play for a coach like [him]".

This could be seen as one basketball great complimenting another one after a victory. It could also be read as throwing shade at his own head coach Doc Rivers. It's one thing to call another coach "the best", but it's an entirely different thing to say you would love to play for them.

Giannis may have a point. Doc Rivers has failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs in the past 12 seasons and only won one championship in his career, all the way back in 2008 with a stacked Boston Celtics roster.

Ergin Ataman, on the other hand, just won his third Euroleague championship in four seasons, and is widely considered to be one of the best tacticians in the world.

The Milwaukee Bucks have had consistent coaching drama over the past year. After the firing of Mike Budenholzer in the summer of 2023, the Bucks haven't looked right. The Adrian Griffin hire was a complete disaster that they had to change course mid-season, only to make another shocking hire by bringing in Doc Rivers. The team played below .500 basketball under Rivers before flaming out in the first round.

Whether Rivers is the right coach for this team going forward remains to be seen but Antetokounmpo may already have his eyes set on a different coach.

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