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Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo admits he had Grizzlies game marked on calendar because of Bruno Caboclo


The Milwaukee Bucks got Giannis Antetokounmpo back for their roadie on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the superstar wasted no time throwing down dunks and pirouetting at the FedExForum floor. It was a surprisingly close game with the Eastern Conference finalists pulling away late punctuated by the Greek Freak posterizing another victim in Grizzlies forward Bruno Caboclo.

It seemed like a typical pedestrian highlight for Antetokounmpo but as it turns out, that play was fueled by a simmering distaste for the Brazilian. One that he had circled in his calendar for months, waiting to exact his revenge according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

“Oh, yeah. I marked this game,” Antetokounmpo said. “When we lost to Brazil, (Papagiannis) told me he’s playing for Memphis. And I was like, ‘OK, cool. Watch the game.’”

The reigning Most Valuable Player was bothered by Caboclo’s game-saving tap off an alley-oop attempt by Greece in the dying seconds of their first-round matchup during this year’s World Cup. The clutch play led to the heavily-favored nation’s early departure but Antetokounmpo was bothered by the staredown after as well.

So when the 6-foot-11 forward saw the chance to punch it on Caboclo, his eyes lit up.

To the point that he got a technical for chirping.

“On your f***ng head!” Antetokounmpo yelled at Caboclo on the way down the floor.

But the Bucks forward downplayed it as just a simple motivator that competitors use to pump themselves up, something he believes the Brazilian could relate to.

“Every time I saw him, I remembered the Brazil game,” Antetokounmpo said. “If you’re a real competitor, it brings the heart out of you. And (Caboclo) knew it, too.”

It’s not like Antetokounmpo needs any additional motivations as he continues to put up monster stat lines and extending the team’s winning streak with a championship in their goals.