In the immediate aftermath of the Milwaukee Bucks beating the Phoenix Suns for an NBA championship, Suns coach Monty Williams walked over to Milwaukee’s locker room and, while placing an arm around NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, congratulated the team for what they accomplished, saying, “You guys made me a better coach, made us a better team.”
It was a really cool moment, with the Bucks stopping their celebrating to welcome Williams in and giving him a round of applause for the show of sportsmanship. And in an interview with Malika Andrews of ESPN, Antetokounmpo took some time to praise Williams, both for the gesture and for the series.
From the cutting room floor of our @SportsCenter convo: Giannis discusses this moment Suns coach Monty Williams. “I had the people stop the music and stop the champagne… I told him, ‘I feel like there's a good chance we might running back next year.’ More: https://t.co/GizGXOyuPj pic.twitter.com/YjuFhbDES7
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 23, 2021
“It was an amazing moment,” Antetokounmpo said. “He came up to me and told me congrats. He’s a great coach, he got the best out of his team, and you could see — he said it — that they’ve never been there before, and that we were there. But we wasn’t, we’ve never been here before in the NBA Finals. But we’ve played in the playoffs, we had a little bit of experience.
“But I felt like the right thing to do was to take him in the locker room and allow him to talk to the team, because I think he wanted to talk to the team, but he didn’t want to stop the celebration,” Antetokounmpo continued.
Antetokounmpo went on to say that he had things stop in the locker room so Williams could speak, then wished him luck and predicted that this may not be the last time they battle one another.
“I told him, ‘I feel like there’s a good chance we might run it back next year,'” Antetokounmpo said. “He has a great team and we have a great team, but that’s too far away, I can’t be thinking about that.”
The series was nothing short of fantastic, with the Suns winning the first two games and the Bucks ripping four wins in a row to win the whole thing in six games. It would be terrific if they do, indeed, meet up again with the title on the line next year, but like Giannis said, that’s way too far away for anyone to think about right now.