Montrezl Harrell has taken his defensive stance over the circulating stories of hindering Giannis Antetokounmpo on his postgame free throw routine last Friday.
Airing his sentiments via Twitter, Harrell argued that he was asking Antetokounmpo to get off the floor as he went for a workout on his own.
Antetokounmpo and Harrell are the latest subjects of discussion within the league circle after their viral altercation following the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After sinking an abysmal 4-for-15 for the whole match, Giannis proceeded to go for a free throw drill in postgame, which was interrupted by Harrell shortly as he snatched his ball. After being denied to continue, the two-time league MVP went back having basketballs with him, but workers of the Wells Fargo Center posted a ladder in front of the rim that he is shooting.
“I went back out there to shoot and there was a ladder in front of me,” Antetokounmpo said, via ESPN’s Tim Bontempts. “And I said, ‘Can you please move the ladder? And they said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Can you guys please move the ladder?’ They said, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘Guys, I have two more free throws, can you please move the ladder?’ And they said, ‘No.'”
Antetokounmpo approached the workers to remove the ladder, but they insisted. Out of anger, the Greek superstar shoved the material aside and has fallen.
“At the end of the day, people are going to make things look the way they want it to look,” Antetokounmpo said of the video of him pushing the ladder. “Did I mean to push the ladder all the way down? I totally did not. I just tried to, I think I pushed it and it got caught and fell. But people are going to make it look the way they want it to look.
“I know what happened. I think there’s cameras all over this court. We can show the whole incident from people coming and getting the ball, people getting in my face. I don’t want to get into all those things.
“I don’t know if I should apologize because I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, except the ladder just fell. I feel like it’s my right for me to work on my skills after a horrible night at the free throw line. I think anybody in my position that had a night like me would go out and work on his free throws.
“And if they didn’t, they don’t really care about their game.”
As such, Antetokounmpo won’t be moved from his notion that he won’t disrespect anyone in the league.
“At the end of the day I think everybody knows my character,” he said. “I think the people that know my character know I never try to disrespect anybody within the NBA, within my coaching staff, within the opposing team. I respect with the best words about any player whenever I’ve been asked. Or I’ve never disrespected an opponent coach or a coaching staff. Or whenever I shoot and finish my routine, from my rookie year until now, I always shake every ball boys hand and make sure I thank them for the work I do because I know it’s hard to do their job chasing balls over and over and over again and make sure they’re OK. I do it for my ball boys and ball girls in Milwaukee.
“They help us when we shoot and I try to do it on the road, too. I’ve been known for this.”