PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) — Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo grappled with an arena worker and fell to the ground with a basket while taking free throw drills after the Bucks’ 112-110 loss in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
After going 4-for-15 from the line, Antetokounmpo returned to the Wells Fargo Center Court a few minutes after the game to practice free throws. Some fans were still in place.
Antetokounmpo missed his first five shots in postgame practice. When the two-time NBA MVP interrupted his practice, arena employees entered the court to perform their normal duties.
One of them climbed a 12-foot (4-meter) ladder next to the basket where Antetokounmpo was shooting. The player went up and threw the ladder on the ground.
The clerk put it back. Antetokounmpo, enraged, rushed over to the clerk, with whom he had a heated exchange, and threw the ladder to the ground.
Antetokounmpo later told reporters, “I never tried to disrespect anybody.” “I think an unfortunate incident happened today.”
Antetokounmpo said the incident began when he was taking a free throw and a coach and a player asked him to leave the court. They did not name him, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published video of Philadelphia’s Montrezal Harrell taking the ball from him at the free throw line.
Antetokounmpo said that he went to get two balls, and when he returned, he found a ladder in front of the basket. “Did I want to throw the ladder on the ground? No way,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “I think I pushed her and she fell. But people are going to paint it however they like. I don’t know if I should apologize or not, but I don’t think I did anything wrong.” “
Harrell, who was at the other end of the court, began walking up to Antetokounmpo, yelling at him not to abuse the employee. But he didn’t pass through the middle of the field: The staff stopped him and returned him to the 76ers’ locker room.