Struggles boiled over for the Greek Freak and an encounter with the 76ers’ Montrezl Harrell appears to have helped spark the incident on Friday night.
In one of the first times fans have seen this kind of raw emotion from Giannis Antetoukoumpo, he angrily shoved a ladder aside while trying to get in some extra shots following Milwaukee’s 110-102 loss at Wells Fargo Center. Antetokounmpo, who scored 25 points, wanted to practice his free throws after another poor performance from the charity stripe, going 4-for-15.
The incident started with Harrell, who also wanted to practice after the game. Antetokounmpo was shooting his typical free throw routine and needed to hit 10 in a row in order to be done shooting. He later told reporters he was at seven and just wanted to finish up. Harrell believed he should have the right to practice over Antetokounmpo since he is with the home team.
“This isn’t f–king Milwaukee, Harrell was recorded saying according to The Athletic. ‘Get that s–t out of here.”
The 76ers star took Antetokounmpo’s ball and the two-time MVP pleaded with Harrell to please give the ball back so they could practice together. The offer was rebuffed and Antetokounmpo went back to the locker room.
“I respect every player,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “I know some players don’t play now, they want to get some extra work, want to work on their skills and stuff, and I said, obviously we can shoot together. They said, they told me no, this is their court, I should leave. I was like, I have three more free throws, I was at seven, I want to try to make 10 in a row. I shot my eighth one. Came and took the ball away from me and I was very surprised. I feel like it’s very unprofessional. I would never take the ball away from a professional athlete when he’s trying to do his job.”
Antetokounmpo then came out with a new ball, and went to the other side of the court, where things got really spicy with a 76ers employee, and was captured on video. The employee had set up a ladder on the other side of the court to either check or fix something under the basket. Antetokounmpo, looking to finish his shooting, attempted to move the ladder but the employee wouldn’t budge and he and Antetokounmpo got into it. The Bucks forward was angry enough to yell at one of the workers, rip the ladder away and toss it aside as it fell to the floor. No one appeared to be hurt.
“I’ve never tried to disrespect anyone in any way, shape or form,” Antetokounmpo said. “I feel like today is just an unfortunate event that took place.
“At the end of the day, people are going to make things look the way they want it to look,” Antetokounmpo said of the ladder-push video. “Did I mean to push the ladder all the way down? I totally did not. I just tried to, I think I pushed it and it got caught and fell. But people are going to make it look the way they want it to look.”
Harrel later tweeted his version of what occurred as he had left the 76ers locker room by the time reporters became aware of what occurred.
“Aye make sure you get the complete story,” Harrell wrote. “I ask the man can he get off the court so I can workout they had to change the court over he ignore me so hey that’s what you get! Respect is respect! GOODNIGHT!”
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