Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is, for my money, the best player in the NBA these days.
There are plenty of arguments to be made for players like Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic. But Antetokounmpo at his absolute best is darn near unstoppable.
Antetokounmpo wasn’t exactly at his best on Sunday night. But he was still pretty dang good. The Greek Freak racked up 23 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in a 117-111 victory over the Washington Wizards.
The performance marked his fourth triple-double of the year.
But the way he achieved the feat has some fans calling him out.
Giannis really created his own rebound to secure a triple-double 😅 pic.twitter.com/jjz7OXDsex
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 6, 2023
With just over 10 seconds to play, Antetokounmpo pulled down his ninth rebound of the game. He then dribbled the length of the floor as the clock expired. But rather than dribbling out the clock or dunking the ball, Antetokounmpo threw up a half-hearted “shot” attempt and grabbed his own rebound. That gave him his 10th rebound of the game and secured the triple-double.
Fans were not happy.
Wow didn’t realize this is how he got the 10th rebound for his triple double. https://t.co/urbcsOHTuG
— MrOverUnder (@MrOverUnder) March 6, 2023
This is nasty https://t.co/FlpSqdSdDK
— Grinch (@Grinch21188235) March 6, 2023
What is the name of Ricky Davis is going on here? https://t.co/eNXOwmdXBr
— Ackinickulous White (@MikeTroy81) March 6, 2023
Bro said he's humble lmaoooo https://t.co/KxjdnETo7W pic.twitter.com/9dgzFO3dOk
— 𝔹𝕠𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕘 ℕ𝕖𝕥𝕤 𝕊𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕠𝕟🖤🤍 (@hooperriley5) March 6, 2023
stat-padding police: https://t.co/AVNBJkhhoH pic.twitter.com/vRjGbPNHS2
— bubuy ᵍᵐ (@iambubuy) March 6, 2023
Others, however, respected Antetokounmpo’s hustle.
My mvp https://t.co/OJcPkg1WQ3
— From the Logo (@FromtheLogo2) March 6, 2023
😂😂😂 would’ve done the same thing #nba https://t.co/HhvoPOkODw
— The Walk Ons (@thewalkonspod) March 6, 2023
No way people are mad at this man https://t.co/hDfcARikX8
— 𓃵 (@OLZN_) March 6, 2023
Giannis Antetokounmpo Admits To Stat Padding For Triple-Double
To his credit, Antetokounmpo admitted to the shameless stat-padding after the game.
“I was thinking about scoring the ball, but I feel like in those situations it’s best to kind of keep the ball,” Antetokounmpo said. “But yeah, I just try to play the game smart and kind of stole one.”
The two-time NBA MVP is in the discussion for the third this year. He, Jokic and Embiid are the primary candidates for the award along with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
But a clip like this may do more to hurt his odds than it does to help him in the eyes of voters. Jokic leads the league in triple-doubles with 25 and analysts regularly commend him for racking them up in the flow of the game.
As it turns out, the league itself frowned upon Antetokounmpo’s tactics.
The league has rescinded Giannis Antetokounmpo's 10th rebound last night–and thus his triple-double, sources tell ESPN. League rules say that for a field-goal attempt to count as official, the player has to shoot "with intent to score a field-goal" — i.e. to make the shot.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 6, 2023
The NBA rescinded the final rebound on the basis that he made no attempt to actually score, therefore the final “shot” was not actually a field goal attempt.
Justice is served.