Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Bucks Minority Owner Aaron Rodgers is Wasting Giannis Antetokounmpo

Walter Rhein
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The story has played out so often in the state of Wisconsin that it’s starting to feel like a literary tragedy.

The local professional sports team is on the verge of greatness. They have the most valuable player in the league. They make it to the championship game, only to suffer a disastrous loss.

The fans turn around to cast blame at the front office and the owners. They demand that more is done to surround the best player with superior talent. The fans are fearful that if the best player isn’t provided a good supporting cast, he’ll grow frustrated and sour on the team.

Sound familiar? We could be talking about Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, the narrative is also true for Giannis Antetokounmpo. By an interesting quirk of fate, in the NBA, Rodgers represents the guilty member of the front office and not the disgruntled player.

Since the NFL draft at the end of April, the media has been dominated by Aaron Rodgers’s frustrations with the front office of the Green Bay Packers. It has long been said that the team doesn’t do enough, even though many analysts rank the Packers as the best roster in the league. Nevertheless, Rodgers has decided to demand a trade and, as of yet, hasn’t shown up to scheduled team activities.

Rodgers’s extra time off should allow him to spend more time enjoying his other prominent position as part owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2017, Rodgers purchased a one percent stake in the team. So, in terms of the NBA, Rodgers is a member of the same type of front office he has had issues with as a player.

The Bucks are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, a generational talent and two time NBA most valuable player. However, despite Antetokounmpo’s brilliance on the court, to date, the Milwaukee Bucks have failed to surround Antetokounmpo with the kind of quality players that could help him win a championship.

On Wednesday, the Bucks lost the first game in the best of seven series that will determine who will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals. The Bucks were favored to win, but went down to the visiting Atlanta Hawks by a final score of 116-113.

The question has to be asked. What is Aaron Rodgers doing to ensure that Giannis Antetokounmpo has the best chance to win a championship? As an owner, Rodgers has the ear of the front office. If he feels his philosophy is good enough to push the Packers over the hump, why isn’t he providing his expertise to the Bucks?

The worst part is that Rodgers has been an owner since 2017, so why hasn’t he managed to bring a championship to Milwaukee in the last four years? If the Rodgers philosophy is great enough that he thinks he can force his way out of Green Bay, why hasn’t it worked elsewhere?

It’s interesting to recognize that Rodgers is guilty of the same errors that he finds intolerable in regards to the Packers front office. The Milwaukee Bucks have a generational talent that has yet to win a championship. At the end of his career, it would be a shame if the best Giannis Antetokounmpo achieves is to lose conference championship games just like the famous owner who has an influence on how his franchise operates.

Rodgers needs to do what he can to ensure Giannis Antetokounmpo is surrounded by quality players. It would be a shame if the legacy of the Packers quarterback extended beyond his own inability to win multiple championships, and extended to the squandering of yet another MVP in another league.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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