The Greek Freak is one of the most exciting players in all of the NBA, although him being at another level hasn’t exactly transformed the Bucks this season. They’re stuck at 9-9 in the East, and even adding Eric Bledsoe to the mix, they’re sputtering along in a mediocre conference where the best teams are big overachievers.
Maybe some of Giannis’ patience boiled over Saturday night in the third quarter of a 121-108 loss to the Utah Jazz, where he was caught on video telling assistant coach Sean Sweeney “I’ll f*** you up”, and may have also attempted to go after Sweeney as well. That’s not a good look for anyone, especially the Greek Freak, yet, he says we’re all overreacting to this moment of hostility.
Giannis yelling “I’ll fuck you up” at Coach Sweeney pic.twitter.com/OQjS8K0BIh
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) November 26, 2017
“That’s what me and Sweeney do,” Antetokounmpo said. “You always fight with your brothers. It’s something common. Me and Sweeney, we’re so tight. He always speaks the truth to me, and I always speak the truth to him. We’ve done this in the past, just this time it was caught on national TV. But me and Sweeney, we’re OK, that’s what we do—we fight, we argue, but at the end of the day, we both want to win. I don’t think there’s anybody from this team who wants to win more than Sweeney and me and coach [Jason] Kidd, of course.”
That’s a lot of cliches in one quote, and it may seem weird that the Bucks best player would go after a member of the coaching staff like that, even during a bad night on the job, but as bad as it may look at the time, notably, this happens between a lot of professional athletes and coaches. Big disagreements occur as bigger egos clash in the effort to win at all cost, and whether one would say telling a coach “I’ll f*** you up” is “normal” is up for debate, but these clashes are more common than you might expect.
It’s rare to have one of these candid moments caught on television in the midst of a game that is spiraling downward, however, which is why Giannis had to answer for it after the game. Notably, he and Sweeney were on good terms by Sunday’s practice, so maybe the shouting match and fighting is more normal that we’d expect.
No one will remember this if the Bucks finally right the ship, naturally.