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Can’t Make It Up: Giannis Says Bucks’ Equipment Manager ‘Has to Wash Our Clothes Better’

It would be fair to say that Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was not a happy camper after the team’s 112-108 loss to the Rockets on Saturday night.

According to this article, Antetokounmpo went on an epic rant in which he primarily critiqued the team’s defense but also talked about things like pride, playing hard, and so on. And, as he was rounding third and heading for home, there was this:

“We have to be better. We have to play better. We have to defend better. We have to trust one another better. We have to be coached better. Every single thing, everybody has to be better. Everybody. It starts from the equipment manager. He has to wash our clothes better. The bench has to be better. The leaders of the team have to be more vocal. We have to make more shots. We have to defend better. We have to have better strategy. We have to be better.” (Emphasis added.)

Obviously, Antetokounmpo meant that everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, needs to do their best. Still, it’s interesting that he thinks everything “starts” with the laundering of the uniforms, which he thinks needs to be done “better.” Like, does he have any specific issues with the cleanliness of his game attire?

For the record, the Bucks’ equipment manager is a guy named Trevor Poulson, who’s been with the team since 2017. Prior to that, he was an assistant equipment manager with Golden State, and prior to that he was an Oakland A’s batboy. What a life! There’s a short article about him here (from 2016, when he was still with the Warriors), and here’s a video report about how he handled his job while working in the NBA bubble during the pandemic:

Like all equipment/clubhouse staffers, Poulson is a largely unsung hero who performs a bunch of largely thankless tasks. His work makes Antetokounmpo’s job possible (and mine, too). He deserves better than to be called out like that, even if only half-jokingly.

One amusing footnote to all of this is that the Bucks used to have cream-colored uniforms that some fans thought looked dirty, because they were off-white instead of white. But they can’t wear those anymore because of stupid digital ads.

(My thanks to Paul Friedmann for bringing Antetokounmpo’s quote to my attention.)

Comments (13)

    This is the same humble, grateful athlete who simply needed a smoothie to be happy? Giannis is becoming more entitled, annoying and Americanized by the day.

    First time I’ve ever heard that take, but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. I actually like a guy, with his trophy case, that cares deeply about a random January regular season game.

    I’m guessing he just chose a random staff role to use as an example. The idea that everybody can strive to get better every day shouldn’t be that controversial.

    There is an interesting conversation between GE CEO Larry Culp and Giannis on continuous improvement, from last September, search “Giannis GE” on YouTube.

    I was at that event, and after hearing what Giannis said, I’m taking his comments a little differently than I might have otherwise.

    Giannis was clearly including everyone in the organization which is more of a compliment than anything to the equipment guy. He’s a notoriously generous guy that includes all kinds of low level staffers when he gives away his new signature shoe each year (plenty of videos on

    Giannis is likely wearing 2 different uniforms each game so that they can be sold. He’s never actually wearing a laundered uniform.

    G should tell the laundry machines to do better. He should tell the basketballs the team uses to go in the net more. He should tell the dishwashers to be more sudsy. If he is saying all need to be better, he needs to criticize anything in the organization which is not human.

    I think Giannis has no bad feelings at all towards the equipment guy. I do think he has changed in many ways: he is not as charmingly goofy as he was up until winning the title (he has grown older as well) but the fact that he still cares so deeply about the team winning and not sparing himself: I cannot dislike him. That reaction from the team was very good: extra clean. Now they should just get another coach, trade Lillard and get Jrue back is some sort of way.

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