Giannis Antetokounmpo can n0w breathe a little easier.
The NBA has reportedly banned the free throw clock instituted by the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center to mock Giannis' slow routine. Citing an unnamed source, the New York Post said the NBA doesn't appreciate the subtle strategy of the Nets to get into the head of the Milwaukee Buck superstar.
An NBA source said the league ordered the Nets to cut out the gamesmanship tactic of a timer shown on the overhead scoreboard at Barclays Center during Game 1 of their playoff series against the Bucks whenever the two-time MVP was at the line. The league doesn’t advocate teams inciting the taunting of other players, the source added.
The Nets stopped using the free throw clock in Game 2. But it's clear they don't really need it as they blew out the Bucks by 39 points.
The timely tactic (pun intended) started after Giannis was called for a rare 10-second free throw violation during a crucial moment in Game 1 against the Miami Heat in the first round.
It has become a running joke and the Nets have surely taken advantage, with fans counting down the free throw clock every time Giannis stepped on the line in Game 1. He missed all of his three free throw attempts.
Nets coach Steve Nash previously admitted that he never noticed the free throw clock especially made for Giannis.
“I haven’t been (paying attention). I just really want to focus on our team. The whole thing is kind of confusing: Is it a rule? Is it not a rule? Are we calling it? Are we not calling it?”
The NBA, where Giannis Antetokounmpo taking his time at the free throw line is big news.