Quick question, is he aware of the current contract situation of his franchise player? Now there are a few ways to look at this
1. He knows Giannis is staying and signing the supermax, which would make this not a title or bust season
2. He has no idea what he's doing and is saying things that will only frustrate his best player.
3. He doesn't want to put any unnecessary added pressure on his players right before the season starts
If you look at what the Bucks did this offseason, that does not look like a franchise that is not in a "title or bust" mentality. They mortgaged their future for 1 guaranteed season of Jrue Holiday in hopes that he's the piece they need to finally win a title, and both he and Giannis then sign on long term. That's where I get a little confused when Bud says this isn't how they've approached it.
Giannis has been pretty clear about two things. First, he wants to win more than anything while bringing a title to Milwaukee. Second, he has no problem staying with the Bucks if they show him they are committed to doing whatever it takes to win....now. While we still wait for him to officially sign that extension, I guess the question is what does that mean? Is that finally getting over the hump and making the Finals? Or is he saying, if we don't do something and win the title this season then he's out.
That's why the supermax question drives everything.
I'm not someone who thinks every team in the league needs to have a title or bust mentality. To be clear, that is different than saying the goal is winning a title. Of course that's every team's goal. In fact, that shit drives me pretty crazy when people only care about RINNNGZZZZ. It's all about where the team is. The Lakers? Yeah their expectation is to repeat or the season is a failure. The Clippers, Bucks, Nets, Rockets etc, teams with top 5 talent on their roster? Yeah, they need to be in the Finals/winning a title right now given their window. Teams like BOS/PHI/TOR/DEN/UTA etc I could understand not having a title or bust mentality right now because they are still at the stage of getting over the hump and into the Finals with their young core talent.
I do wonder how Bucks fans feel hearing this from Coach Bud given how the last few postseasons have gone. I do think it's unrealistic to expect Bud to tell the truth about this topic, but at the same time I'd be making sure I do everything I possibly could both through roster moves and quotes to the media that make sure Giannis knows you're committed and care about winning a title. It's too big of a risk to play it safe and give some standard coach-speak like this. Say publicly you're all in. Lie if you have to. We're talking about keeping a generational talent on your roster, you can't fuck around with that.