Nothing stirs up annoying narratives like an opening night in any sport, and Giannis Antetokounpmo certainly provided them last night when the Bucks visited Boston. Giannis, who just signed a five-year supermax extension valued at $228.2M — the largest in league history — which will keep him in Milwaukee for a stretch, already is going to have to carry the weight of being a two-time MVP who was easily snuffed out the last two postseasons (when either the Celtics or Heat simply set up a picket fence at the free-throw line and he kept charging in there like a game of red rover).
A third season of outstanding regular-season without making the Finals is going to cause Giannis to wear some labels that Paul George will happily give him and then run away.
It’s only the first of 72 (maybe), but clanking a free throw with less than a second to go that would have tied the game is only going to have the Skip Doofuses of the world rubbing their hands, if not going into ecstasy shock. Especially when the main piece on the other side, Jayson Tatum, was the one nailing a three over Giannis to win the game the previous possession (even if it was a cheap-ass banked-in three that he most certainly didn’t call).
At some point, you’re either the guy or the guy who’s good enough to break your heart.
Giannis has all season to be the former, and to erase last night to the dustbin of irrelevant history. But he’s already started the train for those who can’t wait to make him the latter.