The Milwaukee Bucks enter this season as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference once again, and spent this offseason retooling their roster to try and build a team that can finally get over the hump and make it to the NBA Finals.
They traded a bounty of first round picks to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday and, after having a Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade fall apart, spent the rest of the offseason bringing in various role players to fill out the roster and try and build out some depth around their strong starting unit. The centerpiece of everything in Milwaukee, of course, is Giannis Antetokounmpo, and whether this offseason is viewed as successful or not is dependent on whether the reigning two-time MVP signs his supermax extension by December 19.
Antetokounmpo celebrated his birthday on Saturday, as he turned 26 years old, and on Sunday when the Bucks met with the assembled media Khris Middleton was asked how they celebrated with their star teammate. The fellow All-Star had quite the response, noting that the entire team decided to get Giannis what they felt was the perfect gift, 19 pens that they hope he will “enjoy and use.”
"Me and PC thought the perfect gift to him from his teammates would be to give him a pen. So, 19 pens in his locker for a birthday present. I told him those should be some of the best birthday gifts he's ever gotten. So, hopefully he enjoys it and uses it." – @Khris22m
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) December 6, 2020
It’s a not so subtle message from Middleton and the Bucks, and if Giannis does indeed sign his extension this will be a clever and fun thing everyone can look back on. If he doesn’t, then, well, it will be incredibly awkward for all involved and this season will be with one eye on the future and hoping the superstar doesn’t depart for elsewhere should they fall short of their ultimate goal once again.