‘I got chills’: Bobby Portis spills on unorthodox Giannis phone call that brought him to Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks had plenty of unsung heroes during their NBA championship run in 2021. In addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday’s usual exploits, PJ Tucker gave them a relentless point-of-attack defender, Pat Connaughton drained some timely triples, and Brook Lopez helped the Bucks control the paint. However, throughout the course of that playoff run, it seemed like no one drew the love of the Fiserv Forum faithful more than Bobby Portis.

But at the time of signing Portis (November 2020), it didn’t seem like he would make much of an impact especially after posting a ho-hum season with the New York Knicks. The Knicks even grew unconvinced that Portis would be worth his $15.8 million contract for that year, declining his player option.

But Bobby Portis knew that he will be able to contribute at a much higher level with the Bucks. And that’s exactly what he told Giannis Antetokounmpo in a phone call after pleading with his agent to sign with Milwaukee despite their inability to offer him the best contract in free agency.

“[I told my agent], what about Milwaukee man? Do you have Giannis’ number or something? So I called him myself, and was like, ‘Hey, yo Giannis. You don’t know me, bro. I don’t know you. But I promise I can help you out win a championship. And six months later, we won the championship. That’s one of the craziest things ever, bro,” Portis recalled in his appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and The Three podcast.

Even Redick found himself awash with the feels after such an incredible story from the Bucks center.

“That is amazing. I actually got chills when you said that,” Redick said.

Two years later, and Bobby Portis now finds himself with the financial rewards of the leap of faith he took with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. After two seasons of signing short-term deals, the Bucks signed Portis to a four-year, $48.6 million deal using his early bird rights. Sometimes, risking it all becomes worth it in the end. Now, the Bucks fanbase will be screaming “Bobby! Bobby!” until at least 2025.

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