Shaq Sides With Giannis Antetokounmpo In Pacers Game Ball Dispute

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Shaquille O’Neal attends the 37th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards at Cipriani South Street on November 29, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Shaq says the awarding of the game ball should defer to the home team.

Shaq has told TMZ that he has sided with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the debate over who should get the game ball from the Bucks recent game with the Pacers. “I think by the letter of the law, if you’re playing at home, you should get the ball in both circumstances. But, you know I think Giannis had the right to be upset. [Speaking as Giannis] ‘Hey, We’re in Milwaukee, I just made history, I want the ball.’ And you know, he went after the ball," Shaq explained.

Tensions flared between Giannis 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".

Shaq Speaks On Draymond Green Suspension

In the same interview with TMZ, Shaq also touched on Draymond Green's recent "indefinite suspension". Shaq has the outlet that he believes the appropriate suspension for Draymond Green after his ejection against the Suns is just two games. "I don't think Draymond said, 'Hey, I'm going to punch this guy just 'cause he's pulling my jersey,'" Shaq said. Green is currently one game into an indefinite suspension. 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.

Many people have said that the punishment for Green was too harsh. "😆This fool is my favorite basketball 🏀 player, WTF Is wrong wit him. 🤷🏽‍♂️that was a mistake, I will apologize for him. 🤨come on it’s a physical game," 50 Cent wrote on Instagram. However, the league has held firm in keeping Green sidelined for the time being.

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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.