PHILADELPHIA – By 34 minutes, 16 seconds of play on Friday night time on the Wells Fargo Heart, Giannis Antetokounmpo did what he usually does – assault the basket. And, he obtained to the free-throw line 15 instances. Sadly for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, he made simply 4 of these in a 110-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
After the sport, Antetokounmpo headed out to the court docket to take additional free throws in entrance of remaining group and enviornment staff.
Antetokounmpo mentioned he made seven straight free throws earlier than Philadelphia ahead Montrezl Harrell came to visit and caught the final that fell by the web. In a video obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from a supply within the constructing, Harrell then walked to a nook of the court docket with the ball. Antetokounmpo may be seen speaking to Harrell earlier than 76ers participant improvement coach Jason Love stands in entrance of the Bucks ahead as the 2 gamers proceed talking.
Antetokounmpo was clearly agitated within the locker room after the sport, and he finally spoke to reporters.
“Clearly I had a really dangerous night time from the free-throw line,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “Now, I take satisfaction in getting higher each single day. After the sport I made a decision to go try to make some free throws. My purpose, each time (I) step on the road is to make 10 in a row and I used to be capturing free throws, I used to be at seven I feel, a participant, I don’t wish to point out names, and a coach, principally instructed me to go away the court docket.
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“Whereas behind me there was one other house to do their routine. I respect each participant. I do know some gamers don’t play now, they wish to get some additional work, wish to work on their expertise and stuff, and I mentioned, ‘clearly we are able to shoot collectively.’
“They mentioned, they instructed me no, that is their court docket, I ought to depart. I used to be like, ‘I’ve three extra free throws,’ I used to be at seven, I wish to attempt to make 10 in a row. I shot my eighth one. Got here and took the ball away from me and I used to be very shocked. I really feel prefer it’s very unprofessional. I might by no means take the ball away from an expert athlete when he’s attempting to do his job. I really feel like we get, luckily or sadly sufficient, we receives a commission to do a job, which is to get higher and get on the court docket and carry out in the perfect of our skill and someday now we have dangerous nights like as we speak and also you wish to form of make it up, put that additional work in and hopefully you possibly can have a greater night time.
“And I really feel like typically, I feel folks which might be on this enterprise and do what we do ought to perceive that. I perceive that if someone doesn’t get on the court docket and he needs to get in form, he will get additional work, you don’t trouble them. So, they took the ball away from me and I used to be very shocked.”
Giannis pushes ladder … to the bottom
Antetokounmpo mentioned he then left the court docket to retrieve two extra balls to shoot with.
When he returned, enviornment operations employees had begun its takedown of the world – which included putting a ladder in entrance of the basket.
An individual within the enviornment videoed Antetokounmpo pushing the ladder out of the best way of the basket twice, and the second time with sufficient drive for it to fall over.
“I mentioned, ‘are you able to please transfer the ladder?’ And so they mentioned no,” Antetokounmpo continued. “I mentioned, ‘are you able to guys please transfer the ladder?’ They mentioned no. I used to be like, ‘guys, I’ve two extra free throws, are you able to please transfer the ladder?’ And so they mentioned no. Then I went and pushed the ladder and I feel it obtained caught on the web or regardless of the case may be and it fell. After which I went again and completed my routine.
“However on the finish of the day I feel all people is aware of my character; not all people is aware of – I feel the those that know my character – know I by no means attempt to disrespect anyone inside the NBA, inside my teaching employees, inside the opposing group. I respect with the perfect phrases about any participant each time I’ve been requested. Or I’ve by no means disrespected an opponent coach or a training employees. Or each time I shoot and end my (pregame) routine, from my rookie 12 months till now, I all the time shake each ball-boys’ hand and ensure I thank them for the work (they) do as a result of I do know it’s arduous to do their job chasing balls over and over and over and ensure they’re OK. I do it for my ball-boys and ball-girls in Milwaukee. They assist us once we shoot and I attempt to do it on the highway, too., I’ve been identified for this. I by no means attempt to disrespect anybody, in any method form or kind. I really feel like as we speak was simply (an) unlucky occasion that passed off.
“I feel folks didn’t respect the truth that typically gamers wish to get some additional work in. It may be three, 5, seven, regardless of the case would possibly be. I feel it’s unprofessional to kick someone off the court docket or take the ball or regardless of the case may be. Or put the ladder in entrance of someone whereas he’s attempting to do his job. We receives a commission to do that. They didn’t simply choose us. We receives a commission.”
Antetokounmpo was then requested if he was disenchanted that there’s video of that a part of the interplay.
“On the finish of the day individuals are going to make issues look the best way they need it to look,” he started. “Did I meant to push the ladder all the best way down? I completely didn’t. I simply tried to … I feel I pushed it and it obtained caught and fell. However individuals are going to make it look the best way they need it to look. I do know what occurred. I feel there’s cameras throughout this court docket. We are able to present the entire incident from folks coming and getting the ball, folks getting in my face. I don’t wish to get into all these issues.
“I don’t know if I ought to apologize as a result of I don’t really feel like I did something flawed, besides the ladder simply fell. I really feel prefer it’s my proper for me to work on my expertise after a horrible night time from the free-throw line. I feel anyone in my place that had an evening like me would exit and work on his free throws. And in the event that they didn’t, they don’t actually care about their recreation.”
As for Harrell, the 76ers ahead additionally obtained in a shouting match with Thanasis Antetokounmpo throughout this time period.
“I don’t assume he tried to disrespect me,” Giannis Antetokounmpo mentioned of Harrell. “He needed to get his work in. And I completely perceive. It is simply humorous to me as a result of I’ve a basketball court docket in my home and my youngsters all the time go and shoot. And each time it will get 9 p.m. I’m going and take the ball from their arms and I’m like, ‘it’s me-me’s time, we’re going to mattress.’ I form of felt like, you realize, I used to be … I really feel like we’re extra mature than that.
“We’re skilled athletes that attempt to do our job. You’ll be able to go and ask him. I provided him to shoot, let’s shoot collectively. In the meantime, I don’t perceive this as a result of there’s a basket proper behind me. Like there was one other basket behind me. And, he selected to come back to take my ball, have his coach get in entrance of me, and form of bully me away from the court docket and go to the opposite basket. Like, I’m not going to attempt to struggle someone. I’ve youngsters now, I gotta save my cash.
“However now, in case you guys see that as disrespect, that’s on you. I used to be like OK, he’s attempting to guard his house court docket, regardless of the case may be, I’m going to go take one other ball. I went and requested for an additional ball and tried to come back and shoot and so they put a ladder in entrance of me as a result of they tried to kick me off the court docket.”
The 76ers and the Wells Fargo Heart had no touch upon the involvement of Harrell, Love or enviornment employees.