Giannis Antetokounmpo declines to criticize refs after Celtics-Bucks Game 3 because he’s ‘got to pay for diapers’

"How much does it cost if I say something, a comment about the ref?"

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn't want to get fined for criticizing the refs.

The officiating became a hot topic following Game 3 of the Celtics-Bucks series.

Boston aired out its grievances against the refs, especially after Jrue Holiday’s foul on Marcus Smart in the final seconds was ruled a foul on the floor and not a shooting foul, which would’ve given Smart three free throws to possibly tie the game.

Milwaukee certainly had its qualms with the officiating, too. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer had to be restrained while arguing with the refs at the end of the first quarter.

The Bucks’ superstar took a more cordial approach though when he was asked about the officiating after the game.


“How much does it cost if I say something, a comment about the ref? Is it $20,000? It’s a lot of money,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “So I should not do it. I’ll save my money, I’ve got to pay for diapers.”

Antetokounmpo was in foul trouble for some of Saturday’s game. He had three fouls in the first half, requiring the Bucks to sit him until halftime. He finished the game with four fouls.

Saturday’s game was quite physical. Antetokounmpo fouled Jayson Tatum when the Celtics forward went up for a dunk in the second quarter. Tatum aggravated his left wrist injury on the play but remained in the game.

Antetokounmpo was on the opposite of a similar questionable play, too. In the third quarter, Celtics forward Grant Williams wrapped his arms around Antetokounmpo on a Bucks fastbreak, which caused the Milwaukee bench to react in an upset manner. However, the refs determined there was no flagrant foul by Williams on the play after a review.

“I just have to play through it,” Antetokounmpo said. “We all got to play through it. There’s going to be sometimes they’re going to call it. Sometimes they’re not going to call it.”

Meanwhile, Celtics coach Ime Udoka was blunt in his thoughts about the refs not giving Smart three throws in the final seconds of Game 3.


“It was a (shooting) foul,” Udoka said. “It was a foul. He caught the ball, he’s turning into his shot, both feet set. You can’t say that’s a sweep like that when you’re going into your shot. Poor call. Poor no-call.”

Udoka was also upset by what he felt was the lack of charge calls against Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

“Their explanation is, if they don’t fall down, they don’t call it,” Udoka said. “So gotta teach my guys to flop a little more.”

Udoka and his Celtis squad will have to put Game 3 behind them. They trail the series 2-1 entering Monday’s Game 4, which will determine if the series is tied or if they’re a game away from elimination when they head home for Game 5.


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