Giannis Antetokounmpo took a lot of criticism after a video of himself forcefully pushing down a ladder after their game against the Philadelphia 76ers went viral. The Milwaukee Bucks superstar wanted to get some shots up after the loss, but he was prevented from doing so by the Sixers. This led to a whole lot of brouhaha with Giannis being on the receiving end of some harsh criticism.
Matt Barnes has now come to the defense of Giannis, though. The one-time NBA champ got brutally honest in sharing his thoughts on the matter as he blasted both the Sixers and Montrezl Harrell for his role in the incident. Harrell was seen getting the ball after one of Giannis' shots as he wanted the Bucks star to get out of the court. Harrell also had a heated confrontation with Giannis' brother Thanasis during the incident. According to Matt Barnes, Harrell was in the wrong:
“I don't mind the Philly energy at all but I just definitely didn't like the situation,” Barnes said. “I've seen Kobe do it. I've seen other superstars do it. My question is: would Trezz have that energy for LeBron? Would Trezz have that same energy for Steph? Would Trezz have that same energy for KD? I don’t think so. And not that he's afraid of them, but I think he has more respect for those guys.
“Giannis is the best player in the world right now. So you're trying to tell me he can't get 20 minutes — I don't give a f**k where we're at — to get some extra free throws up? They’re lucky all it was was a pushed ladder.”
Barnes also took a swipe at Sixers assistant coach Willie Green for trying to get involved in the situation. Barnes said that he had no right to intervene and that the assistant coach should have just “let the grown men talk.”
Barnes then sent a bold warning to the Sixers about inadvertently waking up the beast within Antetokounmpo:
“Giannis will definitely internalize this and remember this,” Barnes said. “He's gonna make Philly pay for it in the long run.”
“Would Trezz have that energy for LeBron? Would Trezz have that same energy for Steph? Would Trezz have that same energy for KD? I don’t think so… they’re lucky all it was was a pushed ladder.”
Matt Barnes on Giannis trying to shoot free throws after the 76ers game pic.twitter.com/vj5TNVioJ4
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) November 22, 2022
Towards the end of his rant, Barnes noted that Harrell was his “homie” but he still didn't appreciate the Sixers big man's actions.
“Don't f**k with Giannis' quick little 15, 20-minute routine to get some extra free throws up. I thought that s**t was weak,” Barnes ended.