After an impressive performance, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks found themselves in a heated confrontation with the Pacers. Read on for more details!
Giannis Antetokounmpo set a new franchise record for the Milwaukee Bucks by scoring 64 points in a game against the Indiana Pacers on December 13, 2023.
Following the game, a dispute unfolded when Antetokounmpo had a heated exchange with the Indiana staff and then headed towards the Pacers’ locker room.
In addition to his points, he contributed 14 rebounds and 4 steals, leading the Bucks to a 140-126 victory.
This record-breaking game marked a pinnacle in Antetokounmpo’s career, surpassing his previous highest score of 55 points achieved in January 2023.
Post-game clash: Antetokounmpo’s pursuit of the ball sparks an arena confrontation
After the Bucks’ victorious game, Antetokounmpo engaged in a tense conversation with Pacers’ star player Tyrese Haliburton.
Pacers’ coach Rick Carlisle revealed that his team had possession of the ball and intended to give it to Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first official NBA point during the game.
This led to a heated confrontation in the arena hallway, with Bucks guard Cameron Payne and others supporting Antetokounmpo.
Describing the chaos, Payne said, “My man [Antetokounmpo] just wanted his ball.” Carlisle termed the post-game situation as unfortunate and asserted that the Pacers did not intentionally disregard Antetokounmpo’s franchise record when they took the ball.
Game ball dispute and confrontation: Pacers vs. Bucks showdown
Pacers’ coach Rick Carlisle clarified that the confusion arose from both teams wanting possession of one of the two game balls. He explained, “Misunderstanding erupted over the game ball. Considering it was Oscar Tshiebwe’s first official NBA point, we claimed the ball, not taking into account Giannis’s franchise record.”
He recounted how the Bucks players overran the Pacers’ hallway, leading to a heated confrontation, or as he termed it, a ‘fracas.’
Although there were no physical altercations, Pacers’ General Manager Chad Buchanan was elbowed in the ribs by a Bucks player.
In the end, Giannis obtained a ball from the Bucks’ security, though he doubted its authenticity as the game ball. Referencing his playtime, he said, “I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball… it feels like a brand new ball. I played, what, 35 minutes today? I know how the game ball felt.” He intended to gift this ball to his mother.
Lastly, the two teams are set to clash twice more in the regular season, with the next tournament scheduled for New Year’s Day at Fiserv Forum, followed by another two days later in Indiana.