Giannis Antetokounmpo is a full-fledged NBA star now, and with it comes a star’s temper. Stars play more minutes and take more shots than anyone else, and anyone comes between them and what they believe they can do may be at the receiving end of some choice curse words.
On Saturday, the Milwaukee Bucks lost 121-108 to the Utah Jazz. While Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, he grew increasingly frustrated throughout the game at perceived missed calls from the officiating crew. At one point, it culminated in a bench chair being tossed aside in anger.
Later on, Antetokounmpo got in a shouting match with one of the Bucks’ assistant coaches, Sean Sweeney.
Giannis yelling “I’ll fuck you up” at Coach Sweeney pic.twitter.com/OQjS8K0BIh— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) November 26, 2017
You can speculate that Sweeney could have told him something about calming down and controlling his emotions after Antetokounmpo nearly picked up a technical foul while on the court, and his extremely mad self didn’t take it well. It appeared Antetokounmpo yelled back, “I’ll fuck you up,” which, if so, is a massive departure from the smoothie-loving, baby-faced rookie sensation we all came to love. But again, that’s NBA stardom. It comes for all your favorite stars.
What does this mean?
100 percent of athletes have argued with 100 percent of their assistant coaches if you put them together long enough. Antetokounmpo is no different. In a heated moment during a losing effort, he yelled at someone who was telling him something he needed to, but didn’t want to, hear at that moment. The world will continue revolving just the same after this fight, and I’m sure both sides made up after it.
(Yes, there is a consensus around the league that Jason Kidd is a below-average coach, and at some point, that may need to be addressed. Let’s not say that one singular bench argument proves that Antetokounmpo is fed up with this coaching staff, or anything like that. That’s a real reach to find evidence fitting a theory that probably isn’t even true.)
By the way, Sweeney isn’t just an assistant coach, but the one who works most closely with Antetokounmpo — even during the offseason. I’m sure those two are fine.
And when asked about it on Sunday, Antetokounmpo gave an example exactly like that.