Aaron Rodgers is feeling good about the Green Bay Packers after clinching the NFC North for a second consecutive season last Sunday, but the 37-year-old quarterback is also “ecstatic” as a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks to know Giannis Antetokounmpo will be staying in Wisconsin for the next five years.
The superstar forward and two-time MVP announced Tuesday afternoon he was signing a long-term contract extension with the Bucks, a deal that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported to be worth the full five-year, $228 million supermax value. The contract is the most lucrative in NBA history and keeps Milwaukee’s centerpiece grounded for the future.
“It’s a big signing for us,” Rodgers said during his Tuesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, shortly after Antetokounmpo’s deal was announced. “We’re pretty ecstatic. I guess he is as well and I would assume, this is just conjecture, but I know he was interested in what the roster turnover was going to be. Made some moves in the offseason, brought in some players. I guess he’s happy with them so far. We still have a couple important pieces from our run last year that got interrupted by COVID after we were the No. 1 team in the league and on a big-time roll. … Hopefully, we can keep rolling for the next five years.”
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Rodgers Explains How He Became Bucks Minority Owner
It has been more than two and a half years since Bucks co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens announced Rodgers had bought a 1% stake in their NBA franchise and would be joining the growing list of popular athletes to expand their business ventures into ownership.
The trend is hardly a new one. Magic Johnson was once a part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. Michael Jordan is the majority stakeholder of the Charlotte Hornets and has spent nearly 15 years in ownership ranks. Even Patrick Mahomes, now rooted in Kansas City for the long-term future, has bought in as a minority MLB owner of the Royals.
Rodgers, however, made it clear to the Bucks he didn’t want a complicated relationship with the Bucks where his ownership was conditional on other commitments.
“My opinion, it was not what I wanted,” Rodgers told McAfee. “I just wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t want … Shaq has an agreement with the (Sacramento) Kings where a lot of it is based on appearances and the number of times he’s at the games and yada, yada, yada. I just wanted to be a part of it and get in because I felt like it was a good connection to the region, thinking I was going to be here for a long, long time. And also I love basketball. Love the division that Marc (Lasry) and Wes have and big excitement around the team. And finally, after the years, I basically just said to hell with this, I don’t need other people talking for me. I picked up the phone and called Wes Edens and had a great conversation, and about a week later I was a minority owner.”
Will Rodgers Win Third MVP Award?
Antetokounmpo and Rodgers are each two-time MVPs in their respective realms, but the latter has a reasonable shot at winning No. 3 if he can keep his current pace through the final three games of the 2020 season.
Rodgers has thrown an NFL-leading 39 touchdown passes through the first 13 games and ranks among the top five in passing yards (No. 3 at 3,685 yards), completion percentage (No. 4 at 69.6%) and passer rating (No. 1 at 119.7). He has also done it all while throwing just four interceptions, two of which happened in the same game.
According to Odds Shark, Mahomes is still the favorite (-200) to win the MVP award despite his three-interception game against the Miami Dolphins last week, but Rodgers (+120) is closing the gap and could potentially make up the ground over the next three games as both quarterbacks attempt to deliver their team a No. 1 playoff seed.