Giannis throws tantrum, ladder after terrible night at free throw line


Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the feel-good stories in the NBA. He’s one of the guys fans root for, even those who don’t root for the Bucks. The two-time league MVP is a testament to all the hard work he has done throughout his life to build his skill set and become one of the best players of all-time.

That’s what made the events that happened after Friday’s game at Wells Fargo Center even more surprising.

Antetokounmpo’s Bucks lost to the Sixers, 110-102, and you could argue it was the Greek Freak’s struggles at the free throw line that had a significant hand in the defeat. He missed 11 of his 15 free throw attempts, delighting the crowd not just for helping the Sixers to a win, but earning all Sixers fans a dozen nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, thanks to their "Bricken for Chicken" campaign.

After the game, once nearly all the fans had cleared out, Antetokounmpo made his way back to the court, where he stepped to the free throw line and practiced his free throws. This is extremely rare for a player to do after a home game, but on the road, it’s nearly unheard of.

After a short while, arena workers began to clean up around him, and brought out a ladder in front of the basket at which Antetokounmpo was practicing. Looking at video captured by a fan, Giannis seemed at first like he was asking them to hold off a bit longer, and helped them slide the ladder away from the goal so he could get a few more reps in.

The workers didn’t seem to want to wait, and put the ladder back where they wanted it, in front of the basket again. That’s when Antetokounmpo lost his patience and threw the 12-foot ladder to the ground.

I get that Antetokounmpo is probably upset with himself after a terrible performance at the free throw line, but to take it out on people just trying to do their jobs is disrespectful. 

This is especially galling of Antetokounmpo when you look at the first few frames of the video, which shows that the other end of the court was virtually vacant, and he could just as easily have walked 70 or so feet and continued shooting free throws unencumbered. Instead, he has a little tantrum and pulls an ill-mannered power trip on folks who are just trying to finish their work and go home.

Without full context, this is a bad look. But for someone who is most marketable and reputably nicest players in the league in recent memory, I think it’s fair to say that cameras caught a very good person having a very bad night.

Contact Us