Bucks

Kobe Bryant’s Old Tweets To Giannis Going Viral After Bucks Win Title

Kobe Bryant and Giannis Antetokounmpo shakes hands after a game.

Kobe Bryant and Giannis Antetokounmpo shakes hands after a game.

Last night, Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first NBA championship, completing a challenge issued to him two years ago by the late Kobe Bryant.

In fact, in the wake of Giannis’ all-time great closeout performance and the Milwaukee Bucks’ first NBA title in 50 years, two of Kobe’s old tweets to the “Greek Freak” are going viral. The first one was from August 2017, when Kobe responded to Giannis asking him for a challenge.

The “Black Mamba” urged him to go win MVP, which Giannis eventually did twice. After his first MVP award in 2019, Kobe assigned another task to the young superstar.

“My man….MVP. Greatness. Next up: Championship #MambaMentality,” he tweeted on June 24, 2019.

Mission accomplished.

After last night’s game, Giannis spoke candidly about the impact Kobe’s challenges had on him.

“Kobe Bryant thinks I can do

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Bucks or Suns? Our writers share their picks

<span>Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images</span>

Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What the Suns need to do to win

Limit the Bucks’ second and third options. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who remains day-to-​day with left knee injury, will find a way to hit baskets when he gets on the floor. It might be in transition. It might be in the half-court. But over the course of the series, he will have one or two Giannis Games. Limiting Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Antetokounmpo’s supporting cast will be the key. As the Suns’ rim-protector, much of the defensive responsibilities will fall on Deandre Ayton. The former No 1 overall draft pick has undergone a metamorphosis during this year’s playoffs, and he will need to bring every bit of his defensive savvy to bottle up the Bucks. Oliver Connolly

Related: Scottie Pippen’s latest bridge-burning tour is a reminder that hurt people hurt people | Andrew Lawrence

Keep doing what they’ve been

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Khris Middleton leads Bucks over Nets

Facing down the possibility of yet another ignominious Eastern Conference exit, the Milwaukee Bucks have forced a Game 7 against the NBA’s title favorites.

Behind a playoff career-high 38 points from Khris Middleton, the Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 104-89 on Thursday in Game 6 to even the series 3-3. The teams will play a Game 7 on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Brooklyn.

The win is a welcome response for the Bucks, who fell behind 3-2 after blowing a 17-point second-half lead in Game 5 despite facing the absence of Kyrie Irving and the struggles of James Harden. For fans of a team that has chronically underperformed in the playoffs, it felt like the inflection point of a familiar story.

Once again, the Bucks built up a big lead in Game 6, leading by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Nets eroded the lead

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NBA Playoffs: Nets’ Steve Nash Speaks About James Harden After Win Over Bucks

The Brooklyn Nets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 on Saturday night in Game 1, but they did lose James Harden in the first quarter due to a hamstring injury (see SportsCenter’s Tweet below).

After the game, Steve Nash spoke about Harden’s injury.

“I’m heartbroken for him,” Nash told reporters post-game. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s playing next game or if he’s out. I have no idea.”

The whole presser from Nash can be seen here.

The Nets were 4-point favorites in Brooklyn over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 on Saturday, according to FanDuel.

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