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“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure?”

“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure?”

– Giannis Antetokounmpo, on failure.

You don’t have to be a sports fan to understand failure.


A word that can strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest.

We’ve all experienced it in one form or another – the stinging disappointment, the shattered expectations, the overwhelming sense of defeat. But what if I told you that failure is not something to be feared, but a necessary stepping stone towards greatness?

What if I told you that in the depths of failure lies the seed of resilience, determination, and unyielding spirit?

NBA Star Shares Raw Response About What It Means to Fail

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo — a 28-year-old Greek power forward for the Milwaukee Bucks — is remaining optimistic after his team’s NBA season was cut short.

On April 26, the No. 1 seed Bucks faced off against the (No. 8 seeded) Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Despite Antetokounmpo’s 38 points, the Bucks lost to the Heat in a back-and-forth overtime game. 

The defeat moved the Heat to the next round of the NBA playoffs and sent the Bucks home, falling short of the team’s high expectations.

But failing is all part of the process, says Antetokounmpo, in a post-game interview that has gone viral.

What It Means to Fail: The Inspiring Post-Game Reaction That Has Gone Viral

With raw vulnerability and unwavering conviction, Antetokounmpo shared his perspective on failure that challenges our preconceived notions. He reminds us that failure is not an endpoint, but a catalyst for growth.

It is through failure that we find the strength to rise, the motivation to improve, and the resilience to overcome any obstacle that stands in our way.

Eric Nehm, a reporter for The Athletic, repeated a question that he had already asked Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer: “I just asked Bud the exact same question, but I’m curious for you. Do you view this season as a failure?” asked the reporter.

After a quick sigh, Antetokounmpo got into it.

“Oh my God. Uh… You asked me the same question last year,” said the power forward. “Do you get a promotion every year? So every year you work is a failure.”

His words echoed through the depths of our own struggles and setbacks — we’re reminded that failure is not a reflection of our worth, but an opportunity to redefine our path.

We are reminded that the greatest victories are often born from the ashes of defeat, and it is in these moments that we have the chance to transform ourselves, our lives, and hopefully the world around us.

“Every year you work, you work towards something,” he continued, with conviction. “Towards a goal, right? To get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family… provide a house for them, take care of your parents. You work towards a goal, it’s not a failure. It’s steps towards success.”

There are always steps to it.

“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships,” he asked. “The other nine years was a failure? Is that what you’re telling me?”

Antetokounmpo added there is “no failure in sports” and supported his claim that there are good days and bad days. “Some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not.”

He optimistically added his team will “come back next year, try to be better,” and “build good habits.”

Let’s embark on a journey — daily, weekly, or monthly — fueled by the lessons of Antetokounmpo. Dive into the depths of failure and embrace its transformative power to emerge stronger, wiser, and more determined than before.

Failure is a mindset and a stepping stone, not a path toward destruction.