The Nets’ trolling on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free throw routine must end.
According to Peter Botte of the New York Post, the NBA ordered the Nets to stop timing Antetokoumpo’s free throws via a stopwatch on the scoreboard. Per Botte, “The league doesn’t advocate teams that make fun of other players.”
The clock was set for Game 1 of the Nets vs. Bucks by Barclays Center staff. It happened after Antetokounmpo committed a rare free-throw violation during Milwaukee’s sweep against the Heat.
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By rule, an NBA player must release the ball on a free throw within 10 seconds of it being received by the referee. Due to Antetokounmpo’s long routine, he often cuts her close or goes over time.
However, he is rarely called for a violation. So the stopwatch was set up to amplify the crowd as the Greek Freak neared the official release and demonstration deadline when it had, in fact, taken over 10 seconds.
You can see how it worked via the video below.
While the stopwatch may have energized the fans in attendance, it had little impact on the coaches during the match. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he noticed people watching the Jumbotron, but he was more focused on the game than anything else.
“There was a time when I felt like people were watching the Jumbotron, but I wasn’t sure why,” Budenholzer said. “You never know what’s going on up there, and it’s rare that I can even hear the hint of something.”
Even still, the NBA has shut this down for the time being. The Nets loyalists will need to find another way to distract Giannis from the line if the Bucks return to Brooklyn for Game 5.
The Nets currently lead the series 2-0 and earned a 39-point victory over the Bucks in Game 2. Game 3 is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday night in Milwaukee.