Giannis Antetokounmpo has an altercation with Montrezl Harrell when he tries to take free throws after the Bucks’ loss and then pushes down the ladder

PHILADELPHIA — During 34 minutes and 16 seconds of play Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center, Giannis Antetokounmpo did what he normally does – attack the basket. And he got to the free-throw line 15 times. Unfortunately for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, he only made four of those in a 110-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

After the game, Antetokounmpo went onto the pitch to score extra free throws in front of the remaining team and arena staff.

Bally Sports Wisconsin and Buck’s play-by-play voiceover Lisa Byington captured the early part of the routine and posted the video to Twitter.

Montrezl Harrell takes the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo during the post-match free throw session

Antetokounmpo said he made seven straight free throws before Philadelphia forward Montrezl Harrell came over and caught the last one, which fell through the net. In video obtained by the Journal Sentinel from a source inside the building, Harrell then walked the ball to a corner of the court. Antetokounmpo can be seen speaking to Harrell before 76ers player development coach Jason Love stands in front of the Bucks forward as the two players continue to talk.

Antetokounmpo was visibly excited in the dressing room after the game and ended up speaking to reporters.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after scoring a three-point basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center.

“Obviously I had a very bad night from the free throw line,” said Antetokounmpo. “Now I’m proud of getting better every day. After the game I decided to try some free throws. My goal is to do 10 in a row every time I’m on the line and I’ve been shooting free throws, I was a player at seven I think I don’t want to name names and a coach basically told me to leave the court.

“While behind me there was another place to do their routine. I respect every player. I know some players don’t play now, they want to get some extra work, want to work on their skills and stuff, and of course I said we can shoot together.

“They said they told me no, this is their dish, I should go. I thought I had three free throws left, I was down to seven, I want to try and get ten in a row. I shot my eighth. Came and took the ball away from me and I was very surprised. I find that very unprofessional. I would never take the ball away from a professional athlete trying to do their job. I feel like, fortunately or unfortunately, we are paid enough to do a job that is to get better and get on the pitch and do our best and sometimes we have bad nights like tonight and you would like be kind make it up to you, put in that extra work and hopefully you can have a better night.

“And I sometimes feel like people who are in this business and do what we do should understand that. I understand that if someone doesn’t come on the pitch and wants to get in shape, they get extra work, you don’t bother them. So they took the ball away from me and I was very surprised.”

Montrezl Harrell tweets about “respect” after Giannis incident

Harrell later tweeted: “Aye make sure you get the full story. I ask the man if he can leave the seat so I can train, they had to switch seats because he is ignoring me, so hey you get that! Respect is respect! GOOD NIGHT! “

Giannis pushes Leiter to the ground as he came back to take free throws

Antetokounmpo said he then left the pitch to get two more balls to shoot.

When he returned, arena operations staff had begun dismantling the arena — which included putting up a ladder in front of the basket.

A person in the arena filmed Antetokounmpo twice pushing the ladder out of the way of the basket and the second time with enough force to knock it over.

“I said can you please move the ladder?” And they said no,” Antetokounmpo continued. “I said can you please move the ladder?” They said no. I thought guys I have two free throws left, can you please move the ladder? And they said no. Then I went and pushed the ladder and I think it got caught in the net or whatever the case and fell off. And then I went back and finished my routine.

“But at the end of the day I think everyone knows my character; Not everyone knows – I think people who know my character – know that I never try to respect anyone within the NBA, on my coaching staff or on the opposing team. I respect with the best words about each player whenever I was asked. Or I’ve never disrespected an opposing coach or coaching staff. Or whenever I shoot and finish my (foreplay) routine, from my rookie year to now, I always shake hands with every ball boy and make sure to thank them for the work I’m doing because I know that it’s hard to do their job chasing balls over and over again and make sure they’re ok. I make it for my ball boys and girls in Milwaukee. They help us on the shoot and I try to do it on the go too. That’s what I’m known for. I never try to disrespect anyone in any form. I feel like just an unfortunate event happened today.

“I think people didn’t respect the fact that sometimes players want to get some extra work. It can be three, five, seven, whatever the case may be. I find it unprofessional to kick someone off or take the ball or whatever the case may be. Or place the ladder in front of someone while they try to do their job. That’s what we get paid for. You didn’t just choose us. We get paid.”

Antetokounmpo was then asked if he was disappointed that there was video of that part of the interaction.

“At the end of the day, people will make things look the way they want them to,” he began. “Did I want to push the ladder all the way down? I don’t at all. I was just trying, I think I bumped it and it got caught and fell off. But people will make it look how they want it. i know what happened I think there are cameras everywhere in this square. We can show the whole incident of people coming and getting the ball, people looking me in the face. I don’t want to go into any of these things.

“I don’t know if I should apologize because I don’t feel like I did anything wrong other than just the ladder falling over. I feel like it’s my right to work on my skills from the free throw line after a terrible night. I think anyone in my position who had a night like me would go out there and work on their free throws. And if they don’t, they don’t really care about their game.”

As for Harrell, the 76ers forward also got into a screaming match with Thanasis Antetokounmpo during this period.

“I don’t think he tried to disrespect me,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said of Harrell. “He wanted to submit his work. And I totally understand that. It’s just funny to me because I have a basketball court at my house and my kids always go and shoot. And every time it gets 9pm I go and take the ball out of their hands and I think it’s time for me we go to bed. I kind of felt, you know, I was; I feel like we’re more mature.

“We are professional athletes trying to do our job. You can go to him and ask him. I offered him to shoot, let’s shoot together. Now I don’t understand because there’s a basket right behind me. Like there’s another basket behind me.And he chose to come and take my ball and put his coach in front of me and kind of push me off the field and go to the other basket.I’m not going to try to fight I have kids now, I need to save my money.

“But now, if you see that as disrespect, that’s on you. I thought, OK, he’s trying to protect his home court, whatever the case, I’ll take another ball. I went and asked for another ball and tried to come and shoot and they put a ladder in front of me because they were trying to throw me off the court.

The 76ers and the Wells Fargo Center did not comment on the involvement of Harrell, Love or Arena employees.

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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Giannis Antetokounmpo pushes up the ladder after altercation with Montrezl Harrell

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