Giannis Antetokounmpo got the controversial game ball from his 64-point game against the Indiana Pacers. There is one problem, however, the Milwaukee Bucks star has his doubts that it’s actually the real ball used in the game.
Antetokounmpo admitted as much in his postgame presser following their 140-126 win on Wednesday.
“I have no idea. I’m not gonna lie. I have no idea. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know,” Antetokounmpo sadly replied after he was asked to confirm if he got the ball back, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic.
“I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball. It doesn’t feel like the game ball to me. It feels like a brand new ball. I can tell, I played what, 35 minutes today? I know how the game ball felt. The ball that I have, which I will take and I’ll give it to my mom, for sure, but I don’t know if it’s actually the game ball.”
Antetokounmpo furthered that he’s going to move on from it, just like what he did when he didn’t get the ball when they won the NBA championship back in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. Nonetheless, the Greek Freak did express his disappointment over the rather shocking turn of events during the showdown with the Pacers.
The two-time NBA MVP had a night to remember after exploding for a career-high and franchise-record 64 points, breaking the single-game record of 57 points that Michael Redd set back in 2006. Obviously, he wanted the ball from the historic outing, but it initially appeared that the Pacers took the ball.
“It’s just unfortunate. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen this before. Like you can’t, I don’t know, I’m not even going to comment on that. I don’t know if I have the game ball, to be honest with you,” the 29-year-old forward added.
What Happened To Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers?
For those who missed it, Giannis Antetokounmpo got emotional after it looked like the Indiana Pacers took the game ball from the Milwaukee Bucks’ win. It seemed like an Indiana coach took the ball, prompting the Greek Freak to run to the Fiserv Forum tunnel to retrieve it.
After failing to do so, Antetokounmpo got back to the court and had a heated confrontation with Tyrese Haliburton over the incident.
During his postgame presser, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said that they took the ball in order to give it to rookie Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first official NBA points in the contest. It has been a tradition for Indiana to do so, and Carlisle emphasized there’s miscommunication in the process because they didn’t know about Antetokounmpo’s record.
It was later revealed, however, that the Pacers actually took a reserve ball and the Bucks had the game ball all along, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Video from Bucks telecast clearly shows Bucks security got the game ball and handed it to a team staffer.
National crisis over. pic.twitter.com/5i2vIKvUM3
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) December 14, 2023
Considering Antetokounmpo’s comments, thought, it’s hard to ascertain what really happened and who’s telling the truth.
What’s sure is that the next game between the Bucks and Pacers will be an interesting one.
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