Philadelphia – During 34 minutes and 16 seconds of action Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center, Giannis Antetokounmpo did what he usually does – attack the basket. He has reached the free throw line 15 times. Unfortunately for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, he made just four of those in a 110-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
After the game, Antetokounmpo headed to the court to take an extra free throw in front of the rest of the team and arena staff.
Bally Sports Wisconsin and Bucks play-by-play voice Lisa Bington captured the first part of the routine and posted the video to Twitter.
Montrezl Harrell takes the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo during the free throw session after the game
Antitokounmo said he made seven free throws in a row before Philadelphia striker Montrezl Harrell advanced to sign the last shot that fell from the net. In video obtained by the Journal Sentinel from a source in the building, Harrell then walked to a corner of the outfield with the ball. Antetokounmpo can be seen talking to Harrell before 76ers player development coach Jason Love stands in front of the Bucks forward as the two players continue to talk.
Antetokounmpo was visibly agitated in the locker room after the match, and eventually spoke to reporters.
“Obviously I had a very bad night from the free throw line,” Antetokounmpo said. “Now, I pride myself on getting better every day. After the game I decided to try and make a few free throws. My goal, every time I step on the goal line is to hit 10 in a row and I was shooting free throws, I was seven I think, player, I don’t want to.” To mention names, basically tell the coach to leave the court.
“While behind me there was another space to do their routine. I respect every player. I know some guys aren’t playing right now, they want to get some extra work, they want to work on their skills and stuff, and I said, obviously we can shoot together.
They told me no, this is their court, I must leave. I was like, I have three more free throws, I was at 7, and I want to try to throw 10 in a row. I shot the eighth. You came and took the ball away from me and I was very surprised. I feel very unprofessional. I wouldn’t take the ball away from a professional athlete when he’s trying to do his job. I feel like fortunately or unfortunately we get paid to do a job which is to improve and get on the field and perform as best we can and sometimes we have nights as bad as today and you want to be nice of makeup put that extra work on and hope you get better night.
“And I feel that sometimes, I think people who work in this business and do what we do have to understand that. I understand that if someone doesn’t get on the field and wants to get back in shape, they get extra work, don’t bother them. So, they took The ball was away from me and I was very surprised.”
Montrezel Harrell tweeted about “respect” after Giannis’ incident
Harrell later tweeted, “Yeah make sure you get the full story I ask the guy to come off the field so I can drill them to change court because he’s ignoring me so, that’s what you get! Respect is respect! Good night!”
Giannis pushes the ladder to the floor as he returns to take the free throws
Antetokounmpo said he then left the court to retrieve two more balls to shoot with.
When he returned, arena operations personnel began removing the ring—which included placing a ladder in front of the basket.
Someone in the ring filmed Antetokounmpo pushing the ladder out of the way of the basket twice, the second time with enough force to knock him down.
“I said, ‘Can you please move the ladder?’ And they said no,” Antetokounmo continued. I said can you guys move the ladder? They said no. I was like, guys, I have two more free throws, can you please move the ladder? And I completed my routine.
“But at the end of the day I think everyone knows who I am; not everyone knows — I think the people who know my personality — know that I never try to disrespect anyone inside the NBA, inside the coaching staff, inside the opposing team. I respect the best words about any player.” Whenever I’m asked to. Or I’ve never insulted an opposing coach or coaching staff. Or when I’m shooting and finishing my (pre-game) routine, from my junior year now, I always shake each ball boys hand and make sure I thank them for the work they do. I do it because I know it’s hard to do their job chasing balls again and again and again and make sure they’re okay. I do it for the ball girls and the ball girls in Milwaukee. They help us out when we shoot and I try to do it on the road too. I’ve been known for that. I never try to disrespect anyone in any way shape or form.I feel like today was just an unfortunate event that happened.
“I think people didn’t respect the fact that sometimes players want to get some extra work in. It could be three, five, seven, whatever the case is. I think it’s unprofessional to kick someone off the field or take the ball or whatever the case may be.” “. Or put a ladder in front of someone while they’re trying to do their job. We get paid to do it. They didn’t just pick us. We get paid.”
Antetokounmpo was then asked if he was disappointed that there was a video of this part of the interaction.
“At the end of the day, people are going to make things look like they want,” he began, “Did I mean to push the ladder down? I didn’t quite do it. I just tried, I think I pushed on it and it got caught and it fell off. But people will make it look the way they want it to.” Look at it. I know what happened. I think there are cameras all over this court. We can show the whole incident of people coming in and getting the ball, people standing up to me. I don’t want to go into all that stuff.
“I don’t know if I should apologize because I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, except that the ladder just fell off. I feel entitled to work on my skills after a horrible night at the free throw line. I think anyone in my position who had a night like me would be out.” And he works on his free throws. And if they don’t, they don’t really care about their game.”
As for Harrell, the 76ers forward also got into a shouting match with Thanasis Antetokounmpo during this time period.
“I don’t think he tried to disrespect me,” Giannis Antitekounmo said of Harel. “He wanted to get his work done. And I totally understand. It’s funny to me because I have a basketball court at my house and my kids always go and shoot. And when it’s 9 p.m., I go and take the ball out of their hands and say, ‘It’s time for you and I, we’re going to Bedding. I kind of felt like, you know, I was; I feel like we’re more mature than that.
“We are professional athletes trying to do our job. You can go and ask him. I offered him to shoot, let’s shoot together. In the meantime, I don’t understand this because there is a basket right behind me. As if there is another basket behind me. And he chose to come To take my ball, and have his coach stand in front of me, and kind of bully me off the court and go to the other basket. Like, I’m not going to try and fight somebody. I have kids now, I gotta save up my money.
“But now, if you guys see that’s disrespectful, that’s on you. I was fine, he’s trying to protect his pitch, whatever the case is, I’ll go get another ball. I went and asked for another ball and tried to come and shoot and they put a ladder in front of me because they tried to get me off the pitch “.
The 76ers and Wells Fargo Center had no comment on the involvement of Team Harrell, Love or Arena.