Los Angeles Lakers 2021 free agency target and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was doing an Instagram Live Q&A session with fans on Wednesday night, and in the process, he asked his girlfriend, Mariah Riddlesprigger, who was her favorite team besides the Bucks.
Her answer, and his reaction, will not disappoint most of the readers of this blog:
“I was a Lakers fan growing up.”— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 26, 2020
Giannis’ reaction to his girlfriend pic.twitter.com/VwcSIkEceZ
Now you might say that him saying “oh hell no” is not a great thing for the purple and gold — especially when considering that he previously said he would “never” leave the Bucks for the Lakers — but I’m here to say that maybe he was just upset that his long-winded plan to go to the Lakers had been revealed.
Okay, so that’s probably not it, but even outside of this video, there have been quite a few things connecting Antetokounmpo to L.A. this year. For one, the team picked up his brother, Kostas, on a two-way contract. While Kostas has some potential, most around the league seemed to see his being brought on board as a fairly transparent ploy to get at Giannis when he has the option to enter free agency in 2021 — which is coincidentally when nearly every contract on the Lakers will expire as a result of them signing mostly two-year deals last summer.
At the very least, it’s led to some great photo opportunities.
The devil works hard but Rob Pelinka works harder. https://t.co/sH8tLGJv9P— Christian Rivas (@RadRivas) February 16, 2020
Giannis also was asked earlier this season about uniting with his two brothers on the same team — his other NBA brother, Thanasis, is currently on the Bucks (Giannis’ youngest brother Alex, a prospect of some renown, is still in high school) — and he mentioned playing in L.A. and Milwaukee as options in the hypothetical.
Moving to Los Angeles would also allow him and Riddlesprigger to watch her sister, Maya — who is a sophomore volleyball player at Southern California’s most prestigious educational institution, Cal State Fullerton — play more frequently. I am definitely not biased about that last point as an alumni, it’s just an empirical fact that Titan Gym is an awesome place.
Are any of these likely the deciding factor — or even certain to be a real factor — in Giannis’ eventual free agency decision? Probably not. But there is no basketball for the foreseeable future, so we’re just having fun here. Let us know what your favorite conspiracy theory connecting Giannis to the Lakers is below.