Giannis Antetokounmpo Feuds With Pacers After They Take Game Ball From His Record-Breaking Night

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Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 13: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks exchanges words with Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers following a game at Fiserv Forum on December 13, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

While Giannis scored a franchise-record 64 points, he later said he wanted the ball to celebrate Damian Lillard's own historic night.

Tensions flared between Giannis Antetokounmpo and members of the Indiana Pacers after the Pacers seemingly took the game ball from Giannis' record-breaking night. A scuffle ensued in the corridor outside the visitors' locker room as Giannis confronted Tyrese Haliburton amongst others. This led to two versions of events. Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said the team took the ball to mark Oscar Tshiebwe's first career points. Meanwhile, Giannis said he went looking for the ball to mark Damian Lillard moving into fifth place on the career three-pointers list. However, both Giannis and Carlisle agreed that the confrontation was "unfortunate".

The backstage confrontation soured a historic night in Milwaukee. Giannis scored 64 points, setting a new franchise record and career high for the Greek star. The previous Bucks benchmark was 57, set by Michael Redd in 2006. Meanwhile, Giannis' previous career high was 55 earlier this year. "He's an unstoppable player. You can't guard him one-on-one. You've got some really good guys surrounding him, but at the end of the day, it's all him. His talent. His ability. His will. He has an incredible will to win, and he'll do whatever it takes to win," first-year Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said.

Read More: Giannis Antetokounmpo Sits With Fans Following Ejection

Draymond Green Suspended

However, tension wasn't only felt in Milwaukee. Draymond Green has been "suspended indefinitely" by the NBA after being ejected against the Suns earlier this week. Per the NBA's statement on the decision, the suspension "takes into account Green's repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts." Furthermore, "He will be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play," the league added. Green received his 18th career ejection, and third of the season, for striking the Suns' Jusuf Nurkić in the face with a spinning backhand early in the third quarter of Tuesday's game.

While Green did apologize for the incident, the NBA has chosen to come down hard on the veteran. The Warriors will meet with Green and his agent, Rich Paul, to devise a rehabilitative program to help Green return to the court. Furthermore, a source told ESPN that the Warriors had "lost their leverage for disciplining" Green after not adequately punishing him after he punched Jordan Poole last season. However, sources also told the outlet that Green is open to getting "whatever help he needs" to "overcome the challenges he is facing."

Read More: Draymond Green Believes The NBA Needs To Go Easy On Him

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.