Dead Man Walking: If Juventus don't sack Massimiliano Allegri, they risk losing Dusan Vlahovic, Federico Chiesa and Angel Di Maria
"It's not a failure; it's steps to success," NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo argued last week in an extraordinary post-match press conference. "There's always steps to it. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure? That's what you're telling me?
"It's a wrong question; there's no failure in sports. There's good days, bad days, some days you are able to be successful, some days you are not, some days it is your turn, some days it's not. That's what sports is about. You don't always win."
Given the circumstances, it was an impressively rational and reasoned defence of the Milwaukee Bucks after their shock first-round elimination from the play-offs, the most polite put-down you'll ever see, with Giannis repeatedly interrupting himself to make it clear that this wasn't a personal attack on the journalist who had sparked such a passionate response to the idea that the Bucks' entire season should be considered a write-off because of one series defeat to Miami Heat.
The Greek's argument also provoked a broader debate about the definition of success and failure, and the media's coverage of those two 'impostors'.
“There’s no failure in sports. There’s good days, bad days, some days you are able to be successful, some days you are not, some days it is your turn, some days it’s not. That’s what sports is about. You don’t always win.”— NBA (@NBA) April 27, 2023
Giannis comments on “failure” pic.twitter.com/QxqkuSMP7b
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri even name-checked Giannis in his press conference ahead of Sunday's Serie A clash with Bologna. "There will be moments when we don't win, but we need to create the conditions to do it," he told reporters. "Only one team wins and we need to be that team."
And he's right, because it is absolutely impossible to defend Allegri unless his team wins. The end needs to justify the means because there is simply no longer hiding the fact that Juventus are one of the worst teams to watch in world football at the moment, which is disgraceful given their resources.