The Milwaukee Bucks played host to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, marking the team's fifth home game of the season to show off their shiny new toy, Damian Lillard, working in concert with All-Star center Giannis Antetokounmpo.
But that all came to a screeching halt early on in the third quarter when the "Greek Freak" was slapped with his second technical foul of the game (an automatic ejection) after a rather mild celebration following a thoroughly awesome coast-to-coast dunk.
Here's the "taunting celebration" by Antetokounmpo that's been called into question by just about everyone with a set of functioning eyeballs:
Giannis given his second technical and ejected for this pic.twitter.com/16NsuNXrSg
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 9, 2023
The first, very obvious question is, what exactly are we doing here? As far as we can tell, Giannis hits the turbo button around the three-point line and flies in for a vicious one-handed dunk over an understandably helpless Isaiah Stewart.
After the dunk, he can be seen briefly glancing at Stewart before turning away and then celebrating with a LeBron-like hands-down "Silencer" move. If the clip had ended right after Giannis began making his way up the court following the dunk, there's probably very few people who would have come away thinking "oh boy, that's gonna be a tech."
By typical NBA standards, this is nothing. Judging by Stewart's non-reaction — other than simply looking to the refs so he can inbound the ball — it appeared like it was nothing to him either. And by no means does Antetokounmpo have a reputation for overtly taunting on a regular basis, so it's not as though he's already on a short leash with NBA officiating crews right off the bat.
Have they not seen Draymond Green flexing and roaring like he just knocked out Brock Lesnar and Mike Tyson every time he dunks or gets an "and-1"? Because if this is the way the NBA is trending in regard to taunting, it's going to start looking awfully familiar to the NFL, notoriously known as the No-Fun-League.
That would be a less than ideal scenario, as the NFL has been throwing flags and handing out wild fines for some truly mundane "antics" this season.
What makes matters worse in this case is the clear affect that such an egregious call had on the actual game, let alone the people who paid to see the "Greek Freak" do this very thing. The Bucks were up by 13 at the time but managed to skate by without Giannis the rest of the way, beating the Pistons 120-118.
Make it stop, Adam Silver. And make it snappy.
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