Giannis Antetokounmpo Gives Fans A Courtside Treat After Getting Ejected For Slam Dunk Stare Down
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gave some fans a different experience during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Antetokounmpo decided to take in some of the game by sitting courtside after getting ejected for “two unsportsmanlike technical fouls,” CNN reports. During the third quarter at the Fiserv Forum, Antetokounmpo did what he does best by postering over Pistons center Isaiah Stewart with a brief stare-down before getting back downcourt. Referees didn’t find it too amusing and found the emotional reaction was enough to give the NBA champion his second technical foul of the night, which resulted in him being ejected from the game.
His first technical foul was given during the first quarter for using profanity toward game officials. Even game commentators expressed confusion about the officials’ decision.
Surprised by the refs’ reaction, the two-time MVP then briefly sat with fans who were seated courtside before heading to the locker room. After the game, Crew Chief Rodney Mott explained why the Bucks big man was ejected.
“After the dunk, Giannis turns to his opponent and taunts him, and a taunting technical foul was called, an unsportsmanlike,” Mott explained.
“And he was ejected from the game, per rule, because two unsportsmanlike technical fouls; you are ejected from the game.”
According to the official National Basketball Association (NBA) rulebook, the rule states, “If a player blatantly taunts an opponent, a technical foul shall be assessed.” It continues, “If a previous unsportsmanlike act has been committed and if this situation is BLATANT, a technical foul must be assessed and the guilty player(s) must be ejected.”
Fellow NBA player and Bucks teammate Damien Lillard described the referee’s decision as a “bad tech.”
Head coach Adrian Griffin said he was “surprised” at the call. “It’s an emotional game. He made a phenomenal play,” Griffin said, according to The New York Post. “It was exciting, emotional and I thought he moved on fairly quickly. So, I was surprised with the second technical, but that’s up to the league to decide.”
The night wasn’t a total wash as Antetokounmpo finished with 15 points, leading the team to a 120-118 victory.