Philidelphia – stolen basketball. Ladder Ladder. Petty defiance and threats of violence.
Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo After a terrible game at the line, he tried to hit more offense. Sixers backup center Montreal Harrell And coaching staff member Jason Love returned to the court and Harrell took the ball from Giannis and refused to return it.
Harrell stood in the corner, shaking his head, holding the ball as Antetokounmpo pleaded with him.
“This ain’t f—— Milwaukee,” Harrell yelled at Antetokounmpo, in testimony. The athletics. “Then take it out.”
Video of Giannis Antetokounmpo hitting free throws after the game as Montreal Harrell dunks the ball:
— The Athletic (@The Athletic) November 19, 2022
As if it wasn’t unusual for a bench player to take the ball from a two-time MVP after a game and yell at him, it got even weirder. Love stood between Giannis and Harrell and said Antetokounmpo couldn’t have the ball for a shot and wasn’t allowed to shoot on the floor after the game.
And Antetokounmpo, who shot 4-of-15 from the line during the game, walked off the court with two basketballs on his career-high shooting streak.
Just as he was coming back, a Wells Fargo Center employee pushed a large A-frame ladder in front of the hoop where Giannis was shooting. Antetokounmpo asked the man to move the ladder to finish shooting and the man said no twice.
Angered by the strange circumstances he had just encountered, Giannis tried to move the ladder out of the way and knocked it over. The arena staff scattered as the ladder crashed into the court.
A video of the incident on the stairs was posted on the forum by a Philadelphia fan.
— Dennis Moore (@dem389) November 19, 2022
“I’m not trying to disrespect anybody in any way,” Antetokounmpo said an hour after the event. “I think it’s a sad thing that happened today. I think people don’t respect the fact that sometimes players want to get more work. I think it’s rude to kick someone off the court or take the ball or whatever it is. Or put the ladder in front of someone when they’re trying to do their job. We pay to do it. They just didn’t choose us. We pay.
There is another. Antetokounmpo, now visibly frustrated, continued his work at one end of the floor while Harrell was shooting at the other.
“Yeah, I got the ball, get the f— outta here,” said Harrel Giannis as he yelled from the end: “I’m doing my job.”
After Antetokounmpo left the court for good, his brother’s Milwaukee teammate Thanasis AntetokounmpoHe went to center court to talk to Harrell. The Sixers’ reserve center threatened Thanasis, saying at different times, “You better send your a—” and “this— to the locker room.” Thanasis left without incident.
The Sixers declined to comment, but a league source said arena workers immediately remove the video equipment from the top of both backboards after each game. Philadelphia hosts Minnesota Saturday at Wells Fargo. Harrell later posted this tweet.
No make sure you get the full story I ask the guy he can get off the court so they had to move the court so I could workout because he ignored me and hey that’s what they got! Respect is respect! sleep well!
— MONSTATREZZ (@MONSTATREZZ) November 19, 2022
The opposing player who seems to be Harrell’s problem, in this case, Giannis should not try to get more possessions as the visiting team after the game. But there is no written or unwritten rule against it, and players on both teams who either struggle to shoot or don’t play much often return to the floor after the game for more work.
Giannis was still upset when he returned to the locker room, recounting the situation to his teammates, who nodded in disbelief. The atmosphere inside was tense, and hushed, save for the sound of Gians as he explained and re-explained what had happened.
Then someone repeatedly turns off the lights in the room as the players try to finish dressing, further upsetting them.
The culprit, Liam Antetokounmpo, was Giannis’ 2-year-old son.
Antetokounmpo finished the game with 25 points and 14 rebounds. He is in the midst of his worst two-game hitting streak. Wednesday’s win ClevelandGiannis shot 4-of-11.
“It’s funny because I have a basketball court at my house and my kids are always going and shooting, and any time it’s 9 o’clock, I’m going to go and take the ball out of their hands,” Antetokounmpo said. “I feel like we’re more mature than that. We are professional athletes trying to do our jobs. You can go and ask (Harel). I offered him to shoot, let’s shoot together. Meanwhile, I don’t understand this because there is a basket behind me. Behind me was another basket. So he chose to come get my ball and have the coach come in front of me and harass me away from the court and go to the other basket.
“I’m not trying to fight someone. Now I have children, I need to save my money. But now if you see that as disrespect, that’s on you.”
Antetokounmpo is shooting a career-worst .587 from the line this season, but an 8-for-26 stretch through two games could skew his numbers early in the schedule. In the two games before these last two fall-shot clunkers, he was 11-of-18 and 7-of-8 on free throws.
The athleticsS Staff writer Eric Nehm contributed to this story.
(Photo: Eric Hartline / USA Today)