Giannis Antetokounmpo, Montrezl Harrell involved in postgame scuffle that includes ex-MVP knocking over ladder
The Philadelphia 76ers earned a hard-fought 110-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, but the hardest fighting was reserved for after the game. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who shot 4 of 15 from the foul line Friday and is hovering at an underwhelming 58.7 percent for the season, attempted to shoot free throws on the Wells Fargo Center court after the game. Philadelphia backup center Montrezl Harrell took issue with that. He and assistant coach Jordan Love returned to the court and Harrell took the ball from the two-time MVP.
“This isn’t f—— Milwaukee,” Harrell said to Antetokounmpo, according to Joe Vardon and Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “Get that s— out of there.”
Love reportedly stood between Harrell and Antetokounmpo, who went to the locker room only to return with two basketballs. However, when the two-time MVP tried to shoot, a Wells Fargo Center employee placed a ladder between him and the basket. When he refused to move it, Antetokounmpo knocked it over.
“I never try to disrespect anyone, in any way shape or form,” Antetokounmpo said after the incident. “I feel like today was just unfortunate event that took place. I think people did not respect the fact that sometimes players want to get some extra work in. I think it’s unprofessional to kick somebody off the court or take the ball or whatever the case might be. Or put the ladder in front of somebody while he’s trying to do his job. We get paid to do this. They didn’t just pick us. We get paid.”
Harrell reportedly continued to shout at Antetokounmpo as he tried to shoot. “Yeah I took the ball, get the f— outta here,” Harrell said, as Giannis shouted from his end: “I’m doing my f—— job.” When Antetokounmpo’s brother Thanasis went onto the court, Harrell threatened him. “I’ll beat your ass,” Harrell reportedly said before adding “you better send that s— back to the locker room.” Thanasis left the court without incident.
There is no NBA rule against players shooting on either their own or the opposing court after a game. In fact, players do so relatively frequently. Kobe Bryant infamously did so in Miami in 2011. But Harrell seemingly took issue with it. The Bucks will not return to Philadelphia this regular season, but they will host the 76ers in Milwaukee on March 4. They could also meet in the postseason, which would send the Bucks back to Philadelphia.
As a capper for the night, someone kept turning the lights on and off in Milwaukee’s locker room after the incident. At first, this agitated an already frustrated Bucks team. However, it later turned out that the culprit was 2-year-old Liam Antetokounmpo — son of Giannis. That might have cut the tension Friday, but don’t expect these teams to be especially chummy when they meet up in March for a rematch.