Giannis Antetokounmpo following in the footsteps of Patrick Mahomes by buying an ownership stake in the local Major League Baseball outlet might mean that we have a trend on our hands of superstar athletes not waiting around until they’re retired, like Michael Jordan or Derek Jeter, to get into the part of sports where the real money is made.
Good for them. Top-level professional sports franchises are an excellent investment if you can swing it, as people are constantly paying stupid amounts of money for teams. It works nicely for the billionaire principal owner, who gets to be pals with an elite athlete without the weird “I’m signing your paychecks” part, and it’s good that athletes have even a little bit more influence at the top levels of sports.
Plus, custom jersey!
For the record, the Brewers retired number 34 for Rollie Fingers, who didn’t get to Milwaukee until he was 34, but won the 1981 MVP there and pitched for the 1982 American League champs. The last Brewer to wear 34 was Mark Lee in 1991.
In addition to the jersey, one would imagine there are other perks. Certainly, Antetokounmpo already pretty much has the run of Wisconsin after bringing home the NBA title, but maybe the Brewers are very strict about who gets to ride on Bernie Brewer’s giant slide.
Imagine the interaction with Bernie Brewer’s palace guards.
“Hey, can I ride the slide?”
“Sorry, pal. Can’t let ya do it.”
“C’mon, please, I’m a two-time NBA MVP, and Finals MVP. I just wanna ride down once.”
“Buddy, I couldn’t let you do it if you were Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
“But I am Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
“Exactly my point.”
Now? Very different scenario.
“Yes, Mr. Antetokounmpo. Right this way, Mr. Antetokounmpo. Would you like to wear the Bernie suit, Mr. Antetokounmpo? I don’t know if it’ll fit you, but we’ll send it right out to the finest tailor in Milwaukee straight away!”
If Giannis wants to run in the Sausage Race, Giannis gets to run in the sausage race. Can’t stop him. He owns a percentage of those sausages.
And don’t we all want to own a percentage of sausages?
If this is the start of a trend, Antetokounmpo got a great deal. The slide and the sausages are perks that cannot be topped in Major League Baseball for the prospective MVP owner.
What’s Tom Brady going to do, get a guided tour of the catwalks at Tropicana Field as part owner of the Rays? Maybe Stephen Curry would like an early draft of the environmental impact analysis for a new A’s ballpark? Might Lamar Jackson be interested in pitching a few innings for the Orioles?
So, Antetokounmpo got himself into a really nice spot here. Unfortunately, with a new CBA coming up, it’s possible that MLB will implement its long-pondered plan to determine each year’s draft order based on a competition among team owners to shoot the most free throws in two minutes.
Still worth it for that custom jersey.