Kobe Bryant Issues New Challenge to Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo

Kobe Bryant and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Getty Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers hugs Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Almost two years after Kobe Bryant issued his public challenge to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Giannis finally came through and brought home basketball’s most prestigious individual award.

Coming off a year that saw him post career-highs in nearly every major statistical category, Antetokounmpo is looking to build on his regular season successes and finally bring home his first NBA Championship next season.


Kobe Bryant Issues New Challenge to Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo

Speaking of challenges, Kobe didn’t back down when offering Giannis a NEW challenge after he was finally able to rise to the task of becoming league MVP. Next up, according to Bryant, is a ring.

While Giannis is certainly pulling his share, the Bucks need to construct a roster where they have a consistent threat to lean on when Antetokounmpo needs to sit for rest. In their current iteration, the Bucks are entirely reliant on Giannis collapsing the defense and either scoring through traffic or kicking to an open man behind the arc.

Although incredibly effective, this sort of gameplan was proved to be able to be shut down in the playoffs and the Bucks will need to tinker with their supporting cast a bit in order figure out how best to still space floor around Giannis while being able to have other players create their own looks.


Kobe Bryant Lakers Offseason Role


Giannis rises to Kobe’s challenge with MVP honors | Get UpJalen Rose and Mike Greenberg react to Giannis Antetokounmpo rising to Kobe Bryant’s challenge of winning the MVP honors at the 2019 NBA Awards. #GetUp ✔ Subscribe to ESPN+ plus.espn.com/ ✔ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔ Subscribe to ESPN FC on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoESPNFC ✔ Subscribe to NBA…2019-06-25T12:39:05.000Z

While Kobe isn’t an OFFICIAL member of the Lakers’ staff, it is clear he has had his fingerprints all over everything they’ve done. A vocal backer of free agents like Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving and a trusted confidant of owner Jeanie Buss, Bryant likely has much of the pull of a top front office exec without any of the actual responsibility.

At the very least, Kobe is a figure that is well-respected within the NBA community and his presence alone could help to calm the idea that the LA front office is a dumpster fire. It does help that the pitch to come to LA became significantly easier once Anthony Davis jumped on board and it seems by all accounts that the Lakers are gearing up to clear out the necessary space to add a third superstar to their already star-studded starting five.

Kobe’s network of players he mentors allows him to have not only an impactful voice for the Lakers front office but on the individual players who hit free agency as well, enabling him to be one of the most important people in the basketball world despite being retired for years.


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