Following the Milwaukee Bucks 113-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis were caught in a heated confrontation with a fan while retreating to the locker room.
Both Antetokounmpo brothers were fairly far down the Staples Center hallway before turning around and running to confront a fan who was yelling at them.
After a brief exchange with the heckler, both walked away and join their teammates. Whoever was yelling wanted nothing to do with the two massive NBAers — Giannis at 6-foot-11 and Thanasis at 6-foot-7 — with the situation quickly diffusing.
The fan was apparently yelling in Greek, which probably played a role in the reaction. It’s likely not everyday that the brothers get barked at in their native language in a road arena. The comments below the video featured an alleged translation of the exchange.
The fan apparently yelled: “Giannis you ate it in the [expletive] today.” Thanasis and Giannis then ran to him saying, “come back here and say it to my face, say it to my face, you little chicken.” Thanasis then ended it with “Your kids must be happy for you.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo Shows Massive Respect for LeBron James
With the win, the Lakers punched their ticket back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. LeBron James did the heavy lifting with 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, out-dueling Giannis Antetokounmpo in a battle of the top MVP candidates. James also guarded the “Greek Freak” after Anthony Davis got in early foul trouble.
“I came here to put this franchise back where it needed to be,” James told reporters. “The league is not what it is if the Lakers are not winning.”
Antetokounmpo — the reigning MVP — had nothing but love for James after the game.
“It’s always good playing against one of the best players in the league,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “Whenever you bring the ball down, whenever you go against him, you can feel greatness. I’ve said it in the past: that’s what I want to be.”
Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 11 rebounds in the matchup.
Bucks vs. Lakers Would be Compelling Finals Matchup
The game could very well serve as an NBA Finals preview, with both sides leading their respective conferences. The loss put Milwaukee at 53-10, while the Lakers moves to 48-13.
“We know who we are, and this is great competition,” James said. “To have the opportunity to compete at a high level, that’s fun and exciting. But we know what we’re capable of.”
There haven’t been a tremendous amount of learning opportunities for the Bucks this season during their stellar campaign. But Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer hopes his team can improve from the loss.
“They were just better,” Budenholzer told reporters. “They’re a very good team. They do a lot of things well. I think it’s good for us, though. We’ll learn from it, and we’ll be better.”
Antetokounmpo agreed with his coach’s sentiments.
“We definitely did not play smart,” Antetokounmpo said. “We put them at the line so easily. We’ve just got to do better. Obviously we’re going to learn a lot from this game.”