Khris Middleton’s Wife Samantha Dutton Made Sure He Didn’t Miss Out on His Olympic Dream
A player's life, be it in any sport, can be very tough, especially due to work commitments.
And things weren't different for NBA champion Khris Middleton, who was thrown into the deep end in June 2021.
Back then, he had to make a hard decision of either choosing his family — his reported wife Samantha Dutton was giving birth to their second child — or his dream of making it big in the Olympics.
To be more precise, Middleton had led his team Milwaukee Bucks to its first NBA title in fifty years [also his first championship win] on July 21, 2021.
The 30-year-old was supposed to represent his country at the Tokyo Olympics, which began on July 23 [basketball games started on July 25].
On the other hand, his partner Dutton was about to give birth to their second baby.
What Did Khris Middleton Do?
Middleton immediately flew home following his NBA championship win and joined his family. On July 24, his reported spouse reportedly gave birth to their second child.
Just to make things clear, Middleton and his longtime girlfriend Dutton have not officially announced their wedding, but some sports journalists and media houses have mentioned Dutton as the NBA star's wife.
Now, back to the subject at hand. Middleton eventually made the hard decision and partook in the tournament.
Later during the Olympics, Gregg Popovich, the American professional basketball team coach, even praised Middleton and his family's sacrifice for choosing the country over family.
Gregg Popovich on USA's sacrifices at Tokyo Olympics: "Khris Middleton’s wife gave birth & he came the next day, after the Finals. Those were pretty big sacrifices. More for his wife than for him, now that I think about it. Take the credit away from him & give it to his wife." — Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 5, 2021
He said, "Khris Middleton's wife gave birth & he came the next day, after the Finals. Those were pretty big sacrifices. More for his wife than for him, now that I think about it."
Credits to Khris Middleton's Reported Wife
Like Popovich said in his statement, letting Middleton go to live his Olympic dreams is an enormous sacrifice from the champion's brave-hearted wife.
And Dutton's sacrifice didn't go in vain, as her husband won a gold medal for basketball at the Olympics.
Khris Middleton and his wife, Samantha Dutton. (Photo: Instagram)
He and his Bucks and national teammate, Jrue Holiday, became the first pair of teammates to win gold and an NBA title in the same season since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1992.
Following the win, Holiday also praised Middleton for his performance and sacrifices, saying, "He's an NBA champion, he's an Olympic gold medal winner, he's my brother, you know."
"Us over these last few months it's been crazy and we've done it together, so I wouldn't want to share with anybody else," he added.
In October 2021, Middleton sat down with The Athletic for an interview and shared his views on the hard decisions and successful year.
He first shared that being a part of an Olympic team was a long-awaited dream for his professional career.
"...and then also becoming a father again, which is another dream, so you have two dreams, but you have to be away from one — it's just weird to try and put it all into words," he explained.
But then, it was his partner who asked and motivated him to leave everything behind and chase his dreams. Now, he has Olympic gold, as well as a happy family.