Indiana Pacers superstar Tyrese Haliburton had some interesting words for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks after Wednesday’s controversy involving a game ball.
For those who missed it, Antetokounmpo and Haliburton had a heated exchange on the court following the contest after the Pacers apparently took the game ball. The Greek Freak just set a multitude of records with his 64-point explosion, but when he was looking for his well-deserved game ball, it was gone.
Antetokounmpo actually ran to the tunnel and approached the Pacers to get the ball back, but to no avail. It was then that he had a discussion with Haliburton.
While talking to reporters in the locker room, Tyrese Haliburton said that it was all a “misunderstanding,” though he couldn’t help but throw some shade at Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
“It was just misunderstanding after the game. For some reason he wanted to confront me. I was just standing out there. But yeah, like I said, we beat them twice so they came out with some fire today,” Haliburton shared.
“And they took care of business, they’re a great team. They did what they had to do tonight. I just compete at the end of the day. But yeah, it was some high emotions, high testosterones going around out there. Like I said, just competitors competing at the end of the day.”
— Jeremiah Johnson (@PacersJJ) December 14, 2023
For what it’s worth, though, the Indiana Pacers are no victims as what Haliburton is trying to make it to be. They did take the game ball, with Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle saying that they did it in order to give it to rookie Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first official NBA points in the contest.
It is also worth noting that the game was chippy and both teams were tense for the most part. Antetokounmpo had an elbowing incident with Haliburton during the game, while the Greek Freak was yanked and thrown to the floor by Aaron Nesmith later on.
There was clear animosity between the two teams, so it’s hard to blame Antetokounmpo for thinking the Pacers were disrespecting him by taking the game ball in one of the most unforgettable nights of his career.
Tyrese Haliburton Calls Cap on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Narrative
For what it’s worth, right after the game, there were a number of videos that went viral claiming that a Pacers staffer took the game ball. It’s the reason why Giannis Antetokounmpo was so heated.
Tyrese Haliburton, however, called cap on those reports as he shared a Dr. Seuss meme on social media.
— Tyrese Haliburton (@TyHaliburton22) December 14, 2023
Later on it was revealed that while the Pacers did take a ball, it was apparently not the real game-used ball. The real ball was reportedly taken by a Bucks official, while Indiana only got the backup ball (though it seems the team didn’t know it at first as well).
There’s certainly a lot of confusion that happened, though both sides could have handled it better.
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