The NBA has reportedly sent a message to the Nets: stop being mean to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Of course, the league can’t stop Brooklyn from bullying the Bucks superstar and being mean in the form of a commanding 2-0 series lead after a 39-point blowout in game two, but apparently it can tell the team to stop taunting the Greek Freak at the free throw line.
Antetokounmpo, known for taking his time before a foul shot, was penalized for violating the NBA’s 10-second rule in game one of Milwaukee’s first round series against the Heat. The penalty allowed Miami to send the game to overtime, and the Nets seemed to have taken note, as throughout game one, a timer would appear on the overhead scoreboard whenever Antetokounmpo was at the line. According to the New York Post, Brooklyn was instructed to end that taunt because “the league doesn’t advocate teams inciting the taunting of other players.”
The Nets cooperated and pivoted in game two, but the fans kept at it, calling out the time in between foul shots any time Antetokounmpo was at the line in game two.
Antetokounmpo wasn’t whistled for any violations in game one, but he did miss all three of his free throw attempts. He should have an easier time Wednesday night back in Milwaukee for game three, in what is all but a must-win for the Bucks.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1