They didn’t tell you, but you’re not stupid. You are keeping the seat warm for someone else. This does not mean that you are not good at what you do, or that you do not like it, but you are a little less than ideal. Irrevocably. You will not suddenly become glorious as you will not grow three inches tall one morning. You are doing it with them, and they are doing it with you, and no one is dissatisfied, not outwardly, not in an unfavorable or agitated way. There is only one discomfort on both ends of the relationship. They’re waiting for someone better – maybe not even actively searching, just keeping their eyes open – and you’re either waiting to leave your station to align more clearly with your abilities, or waiting to grow. You know you’re a little out of your depths. There is a difference between knowing it and getting it right. You are suffering from a little insecurity.
Or Chris Middleton thinks he’s a spinner James Harden. Lots of exceptional athletes are confusing; It makes them as successful as they are if they don’t believe in themselves. There were no clear plans to replace Middleton with Giannis as a sidekick বড় in large part because hiring all-NBA talent at Milwaukee is difficult, perhaps impossible-but for a while it became clear that Box, in all likelihood, would upgrade Middleton Spot if they were to win a title. Was going to fight for. There is nothing wrong with Middleton except his scale. He does what he wants less effectively than you do. A good defender of good size, fixes the ball, aggressively vacillates between 7 and 21 nights and looks like you can’t protect him with three bodies and a close constellation of bear traps across the floor. Working somewhere on the edge of stardom.
What other people do about you is usually the result of their expectations. Unless you are simply endless. (And yet, it’s not like we’ve never heard of LeBron or Durant catching hell.) Where do we place our expectations for Chris Middleton? Well, the box didn’t get serious until 2018, when Mike Budenholzer took over the pseudonymous CIA assets of Joe Pranti, and Milwaukee is a city of 600,000 in the Upper Midwest, so Middleton was effectively around then, even though he was Chris Middleton we are familiar with in 2015: 20-ish points, four-ish assists, percentages that fluctuate a bit but usually shake quite efficiently. He has improved under coach Bud – the outside shot was tough, now it’s absolutely dangerous – but there has been no fundamental change in his game. When the box collapsed from the playoffs in 2019 and 2020, Budenholzer and Giannis attracted most of the heat. It’s probably an insult to Middleton that he didn’t get heavy criticism. (Especially considering he was terrific against the Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.) The message, uncontrollably, was that he was Chris Middleton, and he wouldn’t carry you when needed. This is the work of Giannis.
And that’s why Box did business for Jrue Holiday. The idea was that there was a lack of a second superstar with the box, the combination of Zru and Middleton would be approximately one. It was a sound plan, but in reality, Jrue had a rough postseason: rough defense, but ugly shooting numbers and moments when all the combination and sense abandons him. He contributed, there were moments when he came up with a string of inspirational plays, but when you plug Jrue Holiday into your mind’s spreadsheet he didn’t value the box properly. It certainly makes the sport good and awesome and interesting. Your idea of what a player can do and what he actually does on a particular night is not always aligned. Holidays that are full of complexity are neither fun nor comfortable.
Middleton was just like himself, which can be said everywhere. Pedestrians one night, incredible – very important – the next day. A high-low point total of 40 and 11 in the final added him. You start to worry about him, and then he cans five hard jumpers in a row. You would call him an amazing player, if his instability is not so well established. Can you expect 40 points from Chris Middleton on big points? Yes, you could. He gets stuck sometimes. (And hey, not even 29 points the next night is out of his reach.) You’d be even more surprised if he played 21 games in a row. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation.
There is no benefit in ignoring the element of destiny. The best teams from each conference were pushed and the boxes were thrown into the wounded field. They were much better than great. (Although Giannis is obviously later, with a capital G) whatever. You wake up every day to find satisfaction. The $ 20 bill found on the street still costs. You shouldn’t worry about whether you have enough, when history says you were exactly that.
Chris Middleton is a weirdo, because hardly anyone can wonder if he has the juice to be Giannis’ number two and if the box wins all, assuming he didn’t. And then he climbed to the top of the mountain with his Greek friend.
Giannis told us that he felt Middleton got the whole time after Game 6 of the final: “[Khris] I don’t know how much he pushed me. She pushes me to be great every day. I’m glad I can set foot on the floor with this guy, and play with this guy every minute – and the rest of the boys – but especially Chris. We’ve been together for eight years, and I’m glad I did [win a title] With him. “
Athletes – especially overjoyed, smiling fresh trophies – say this kind of thing about their teammates. But a special advantage of coming out as a champion is that you are not talking about any argument against you now, present or newborn or just hinted. You have settled things perfectly. Whatever we asked Chris Middleton, whatever he asked for himself – much, little, nothing – the answer was yes. You go to the record book, and your name stays there on a permanent basis. You are ultimately immutable.