Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers

Giannis has bizarre confrontation with Montrezl Harell, 76ers employees

Giannis Antetokounmpo got into a bizarre confrontation with 76ers players, workers, following the Bucks defeat against Philadelphia

It is impossible not to make it sound bizarre, but Friday’s matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers boiled down to a Joel Embiid dirty foul, a career-low night for Giannis Antetokounmpo from the charity stripe, and a situation involving Montrezl Harrell, the Greek Freak, a ladder, and a bunch of Sixers’ employees.

The Bucks lost Friday at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers away from home by a final score of 110-102. It was a historically-bad night for Giannis Antetokounmpo from the free-throw line: never before had Giannis connected on fewer than 46 percent of his freebies in a game in which he attempted 15 or more of them. He went 4-for-15.

That’s already newsworthy by itself, but what happened after the game is what is grabbing all headlines. it took more than one hour after the final buzzer sounded at Wells Fargo Center for Giannis to share his thought about the post-game situation that took place on the floor when everybody was ready to pack their bags and fly back home.

According to The Athletic, after a frustrating night from the charity stripe, Giannis wanted to put in some extra work by shooting free throws after the game had finished. “Montrezl Harrell and a coaching staff member, Jason Love, returned to the court” at the same time Giannis did. As stated by the outlet, “Harrell took the ball from Giannis and refused to give it back,” igniting an exchange of words between the two veterans.

“I’ve never tried to disrespect anyone in any way, shape or form,” Antetokounmpo said after all that followed. “I feel like today is just an unfortunate event that took place.”

It is a usual routine for Giannis to make 10 free-throw shots in a row when he steps onto the court. He had gone for seven when Harrell took the ball away from him, refusing to give it back to the Greek player.

As ESPN tells it, Harrell was “upset” that Giannis was “preventing him from getting in his own work.” The Sixers face the Wolves on Saturday night in the second half of back-to-back games following the matchup against the Bucks on Friday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has beef with Montrezl Harrell

“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.”

After the eighth practice freebie, Harrell seemingly took the ball away from Giannis.

“[Montrezl Harrell] came and took the ball away from me and I was very surprised,” continued Antetokounmpo. “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.”

Determined to complete his 10-free-throw routine, Giannis went back to Philadelphia’s locker room and came back to the court holding a couple of balls. When he arrived there, a few arena workers had put a large ladder up in front of the basket he was using for practice, driving him a bit more mad than he already was.

“I went back out there to shoot and there was a ladder in front of me,” Antetokounmpo said. “And I said, ‘Can you please move the ladder? And they said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Can you guys please move the ladder?’ They said, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘Guys, I have two more free throws, can you please move the ladder?’ And they said, ‘No.’”

Quite the exchange, that one.

After that brief conversation with the court staffers, Giannis took matters into his own hands and decided to move the ladder out of his way to shoot his remaining two free throws. The workers put the ladder back where it was. Giannis, then, shoved it to the left of the basket causing it to fall to the ground and creating all of this drama.

The Athletic says in its piece that “Harrell’s problem was that an opposing player should not try to get extra shots up as the visiting team after a game,” before making it clear that “there is no rule, written or unwritten” that prevents players from returning to the floor after the game “for a little extra work.”

Giannis got to finish his routine and he returned to the Bucks’ locker room after that, “upset about what had happened” on the court after the game.

Once Giannis arrived at the locker, The Athletic reports that the atmosphere inside the room was “tense, and quiet, save for Giannis.”

Twisting the plot to even more ridiculous extents, Bucks beat reporter Eric Nehm says that “someone repeatedly turned the lights out in the room as players were trying to finish getting dressed,” only to conclude that “the culprit was Liam Antetokounmpo, Giannis’ 2-year-old son.”

Not a night to remember for Giannis (who is shooting just 58.7 percent from the free-throw line this season) but surely one that might bring some heat his way over the next few hours and probably days after his comments about “professional athletes [trying] to do our job” and the “disrespect” he showed to the Sixers and the franchise arena workers, as some members of the media and perhaps even Montrezl Harrell.

“At the end of the day, people are going to make things look the way they want it to look,” concluded Giannis while defending himself.

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