PHILADELPHIA — Following Milwaukee’s 110-102 loss to Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center on Friday night time, an odd scene unfolded between Bucks famous person Giannis Antetokounmpo, 76ers reserve middle Montrezl Harrell and a ladder, culminating with Antetokounmpo pushing a 12-foot ladder out of his method and having it skid a couple of ft earlier than falling over on its aspect.
“I’ve by no means tried to disrespect anybody in any method, form or type,” Antetokounmpo stated as soon as he finally spoke, greater than an hour after the sport ended. “I really feel like at this time is simply an unlucky occasion that befell.”
What set all of those occasions in movement was a second straight horrible sport on the free throw line for Antetokounmpo, who went 4-for-15 from the charity stripe on Friday. This got here after a 4-for-11 night time on the line in Wednesday’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, after going again to the locker room following Friday night time’s sport, Antetokounmpo got here again out to the court docket to follow some free throws.
It was at that time, nevertheless, that issues took a really odd flip.
After Antetokounmpo made seven free throws in a row — a part of his routine of constructing 10 in a row each time he steps onto the court docket — and had shot his eighth, Harrell took the ball away and would not give it again. He apparently was upset that Antetokounmpo was stopping him from getting in his personal work forward of Philadelphia enjoying the second half of a back-to-back in opposition to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night time.
“I respect each participant,” Antetokounmpo stated. “I do know some gamers do not play now, they need to get some additional work, need to work on their abilities and stuff, and I stated, clearly we will shoot collectively. They stated, 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 need to attempt to make 10 in a row. I shot my eighth one. Came 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 knowledgeable athlete when he is attempting to do his job.”
Thanasis Antetokounmpo then went and tried to talk to Harrell on the different finish of the court docket, main to a different dialogue and Harrell leaving with the ball. By the time reporters have been conscious of what had occurred, Harrell had left the locker room. The 76ers group additionally declined to remark on what occurred.
Harrell later tweeted his personal clarification of what occurred.
“Aye be sure you get the entire story,” Harrell wrote in his tweet. “I ask the person can he get off the court docket so I can exercise they needed to change the court docket over he ignore me so hey that is what you get! Respect is respect! GOODNIGHT!”
Giannis Antetokounmpo stated he then went and received two extra balls from Philadelphia’s locker room and got here again out to the court docket, hoping to complete his routine. By that point, nevertheless, area employees had put a big ladder up in entrance of the basket.
“I went again on the market to shoot and there was a ladder in entrance of me,” Antetokounmpo stated. “And I stated, ‘Can you please transfer the ladder? And they stated, ‘No.’ I stated, ‘Can you guys please transfer the ladder?’ They stated, ‘No.’ I used to be like, ‘Guys, I’ve two extra free throws, are you able to please transfer the ladder?’ And they stated, ‘No.'”
At that time, Antetokounmpo walked from the free throw line to the basket and moved the ladder out of the best way. When the sector employees then moved the ladder again in entrance of the basket once more, Antetokounmpo shoved it out of the best way. The ladder skidded a number of ft, tipped over and fell on its aspect.
Antetokounmpo then went on to complete his routine and went again to Milwaukee’s locker room, the place he was visibly upset about what had occurred. He finally talked to reporters some time later.
“I do not know if I ought to apologize as a result of I do not really feel like I did something fallacious, besides the ladder simply fell. I really feel prefer it’s my proper for me to work on my abilities after a horrible night time on 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 did not, they do not actually care about their sport.”
“At the tip of the day, persons are going to make issues look the best way they need it to look,” Antetokounmpo stated of the video of him pushing the ladder. “Did I imply to push the ladder all the best way down? I completely didn’t. I simply tried to, I feel I pushed it and it received caught and fell. But persons 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 can present the entire incident from folks coming and getting the ball, folks getting in my face. I do not need to get into all these issues.
“I do not know if I ought to apologize as a result of I do not really feel like I did something fallacious, besides the ladder simply fell. I really feel prefer it’s my proper for me to work on my abilities after a horrible night time on 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 did not, they do not actually care about their sport.”
Antetokounmpo additionally stated that he believes his status precedes him and that he would not disrespect anybody within the league — nor, he stated, was he attempting to take action right here.
“At the tip of the day, I feel everybody is aware of my character,” he stated. “I feel the individuals who know my character know I by no means attempt to disrespect anyone inside the NBA, inside my teaching workers, inside the opposing crew. I respect with the very best phrases about any participant every time I’ve been requested. Or I’ve by no means disrespected an opponent coach or a training workers. Or every time I shoot and end my routine, from my rookie yr till now, I at all times shake each ball boys hand and ensure I thank them for the work I do as a result of I do know it is exhausting to do their job chasing balls over and time and again and ensure they’re OK. I do it for my ball boys and ball women in Milwaukee. They assist us once we shoot and I attempt to do it on the highway, too. I’ve been recognized for this.”
When requested in regards to the factor that began all of this — his poor free throw taking pictures the previous two video games and what was making it — Antetokounmpo had a easy reply.
“I’m simply not making them,” he stated with a shrug. “Simple as that. I do not assume there is not any problem. The ball will not be getting into.”