June 22, 2024


Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 64 points Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers before things turned bizarre.

After setting the franchise record for points in a game, the Milwaukee Bucks star exchanged heated words with Pacers standout Tyrese Haliburton and other members of the opposing team’s staff before racing off toward Indiana’s locker room, as the teams squared off in the hallway over a dispute about the game ball.

Evan Tuner sits courtside

Evan Tuner stands courtside during the game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics during Round One Game Five of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2023 at the TD Garden in Boston. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former NBA player Evan Turner noticed the commotion and poked fun at Antetokounmpo on X. 

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“S/o to Giannis for setting a career record in points and goofiness,” Turner wrote. 

Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle said Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan was elbowed in the ribs as the two teams jostled in the tunnel over the ball. 

The Pacers said they took the game ball for rookie Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first NBA point in the game. 

“What happened after the game was unfortunate,” Carlisle said. “There was a misunderstanding about the game ball. … We were not thinking about Giannis’ franchise record, so we grabbed the ball.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo irate

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo argues with an Indiana Pacers coach after an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

“A couple of minutes later, several of their players ended up in our hallway, and there was a big, I don’t know what to call it — a fracas, melee, whatever. I don’t think any punches were landed, but my general manager got elbowed in the ribs by one of their players. He certainly had a bruised rib and who knows if it’s anything more than that. Unfortunate situation.

“We don’t need the official game ball. There’s two game balls there. We could have taken the other one, but it didn’t need to escalate to that. Really unfortunate.”

After tempers had cooled, Antetokounmpo was still unsure if he possessed the actual game ball. 

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“I have no idea. I’m not going to lie,” Antetokounmpo said. “I have no idea. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball. 

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, #34, is restrained by a coach outside the Indiana Pacers locker room after the game at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee Dec. 13, 2023. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

“It doesn’t feel like the game ball to me. It feels like a brand new ball. I can tell. I played, what, 35 minutes today. I know how the game ball felt. The ball that I have, which I’ll take, and I’ll give it to my mom for sure, but I don’t know if it’s actually the game ball.”

The two teams have played three times this season, including two games in the past week. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report



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