After a bad night 4-for-15 from charity tape, Antetokounmpo returned to the court to work on his free throws. However, as he was nearing the end of his shooting session, he encountered a group of ringhands placing a large ladder in front of the basket.
Antetokounmpo appeared to be facing the Wells Fargo Center staff, stepping off the free throw line to do so. When the workers did not move the ladder, Bucks’ star pushed it out of the way, causing the ladder to slide a few feet before tipping over and falling.
Speaking to reporters about an hour after the final whistle, Antetokounmo said he had “never tried to disrespect anyone”, describing the incident as an “unfortunate event”.
“I went back there to shoot and there was a ladder in front of me,” Antetokounmo said. According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. ’ And I said, ‘Can you move the ladder? And they said, No. I said, “Can you please move the ladder?” They said, No. I was like, “Guys, I have two more free throws, can you please move the ladder?” And they said, No.
When asked about the perception of his actions, the 27-year-old explained that he did not intend to bring down the ladder, but felt justified in doing additional work in court.
“At the end of the day, people are going to make things look the way they want them to look,” Antetokounmpo said of the video that showed him pushing a ladder. “Did I mean to push the ladder down? I didn’t quite do it. I just tried, I think I pushed on it and it got caught and it fell off. But people will make it look the way they want it to look.”
He added, “I don’t know if I should apologize because I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, except that the ladder just fell off.” “I feel it’s my right to work on my skills after a horrible night at the free throw line. I think anyone in my position who had a night like me would go out and work on their free throws. And if they don’t, they don’t really care about their game.”
The ladder incident wasn’t the only post-match brawl involving Antetokounmpo Friday. The Bucks star also got into a row with 76ers center Montrezl Harrell over the use of the field, as Harrell was apparently upset with Antetokounmpo for preventing him from participating in his post-game workout.
Harel reportedly took the ball that Antetokounmo had been using prior to the ladder incident and left the field. He then left the arena before reporters knew what had happened, before giving a brief explanation of his actions on Twitter.
“Yeah, make sure you get the full story,” Harrell wrote in his tweet. “I ask the guy to come off the court so I can practice, and they had to change court because he’s ignoring me, so that’s what you get! Respect is respect! Goodnight!”
The Dollars fell to 11-4 with the loss, while the Sixers improved to 8-7.
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