Jaylen Brown and Giannis Antetokounmpo had to be separated after Brown took umbrage with Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s hard foul on Harrison Barnes in the final moments of Team USA’s 69-53 win over Greece in the FIBA World Cup on Saturday.
Referees and coaches came to break up the confrontation, and Brown later angrily pointed at Thanasis Antetokounmpo as well. The foul came with 1:43 left, and it sent Barnes sprawling onto his stomach.
Some heated conversations after the game. USA players presumably upset with the foul on Barnes. Middleton playing peacekeeper with Giannis. Not a great way to end the game. pic.twitter.com/WtpLB4nJdb
— Kane Pitman (@KanePitman) September 7, 2019
Though referees ruled it a common foul, members of Team USA seemed upset with both the intent and the lack of an initial apology after the play transpired right in front the U.S. bench.
“The [no apology] escalated it,” Celtic and Team USA member Marcus Smart said, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “At that moment, you’ve got to take it for what it is. Regardless of whether you feel like it was wrong or right, it was wrong.”
Brown acknowledged to reporters that he and Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed the incident after the game. The two competed against each other as members of the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs the past two years.
There was no traditional handshake after the game, and Giannis Antetokounmpo chose not to comment on the kerfuffle. Brown spoke about it but downplayed its importance.
“Yeah, I said something to Giannis,” Brown said, via Windhorst. “Well, Giannis said something to me. But we’ve got bigger fish to fry. So we move on.”
I love it ? pic.twitter.com/GkJZl776Iy
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) September 7, 2019