Some professional athletes don’t often take manners into consideration when answering a reporter’s question during a press conference. Many give quick, one-word answers, while some flat-out blow off the topic. Giannis Antetokounmpo took a different approach.
The Milwaukee Bucks star made sure he was polite after his team’s Game 4 win over the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. A reporter asked why the Greek Freak was nowhere to be found early in their pivotal game against the Suns or in Game 3. Antetokounmpo went out of the way to make sure he was courteous while giving an honest answer.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks get even with the Phoenix Suns
It wasn’t easy, but the Bucks turned it on in the fourth quarter to get even with the Suns in the NBA Finals. Milwaukee’s fourth-quarter outburst allowed the Bucks to outscore the visitors by 12 points and overcome a six-point deficit entering the final quarter.
Khris Middleton had a team-high 40 points, including a stretch where he scored 10 straight points for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds, but he came up with a big block of Deandre Ayton down the stretch to prevent the Suns from tying the game.
“That’s an NBA Finals special moment right there, and we’re going to need more of them,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, according to ESPN.
“We wanted this bad, and the team showed it tonight,” Antetokounmpo said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo politely explained why he left the floor early in the first quarter
Antetokoumpo finished the game two assists shy of a triple-double. Perhaps he would’ve dished them out had he been on the court early in the first quarter. The Bucks were without their two-time MVP for a brief period, and he wasn’t even on the bench.
It actually happened in Game 3 as well. Antetokounmpo was missing early in that one, too. During the postgame press conference after Game 4, a reporter asked the Greek Freak where he was on both occasions. Antetokounmpo made sure he was polite when he gave his answer.
“How do you guys say it politely? I went to take a tinkle,” Antetokounmpo said. “A tinkle? Yeah. I went to take a tinkle and came back. That’s polite, right? Both games. I went to take a tinkle and went back.”
Despite his flaws, Antetokounmpo has come up big in the series
Despite being a two-time MVP, Antetokounmpo’s flaws have been exposed throughout the postseason. He’s struggled from the free-throw line, and he’s shown he doesn’t have the greatest touch from 15 feet and beyond. He’s been called for violations after taking too much time while taking a foul shot, prompting the visiting crowd to count as soon as he touches the ball at the line.
In his first two games in Phoenix, Antetokounmpo went 18-for-30 from the free-throw line. He bounced back with a 13-for-17 performance in a Game 3 win. He also put up 41 points in that one as the Bucks earned their first win of the series. That was the second straight 40-plus scoring performance by the Bucks’ star.
“We knew what kind of game this was going to be,” Antetokounmpo said after that first win, according to ESPN. “We knew that if we lose the game, you’re in the hole.”
The Bucks and Antetokounmpo have seemingly found their groove. They head back to Phoenix for a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday. The Bucks have done a great job getting back into the series, but Antetokounmpo needs to keep improving on those flaws, including getting an earlier bathroom break.