Harrison Barnes opens up about cheap shot made by Thanasis Antetokounmpo during Team USA vs. Greece match
Team USA forward Harrison Barnes isn’t ready to mend fences with Greece wing Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who took a cheap shot on the Sacramento Kings vet in the final minutes of their FIBA World Cup showdown.
With 1:43 left in the USA-Greece second round matchup, Barnes was going for an uncontested dunk when Antetokounmpo hit him hard from behind and sent him crashing down to the floor. At that point, Team USA was well on their way to their fourth straight win in the tournament.
Barnes didn’t react negatively after the hard foul, but he obviously didn’t like what happened. He told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that apologies wouldn’t have mattered if he got seriously injured after what Thanasis did.
“The game was over; probably a frustration play. Apologies only go so far. If I don’t get up and something would’ve happened, apologies aren’t going to help us in the next game. Luckily everything is all good.”
Team USA went on to win the game 69-53, but it was after the match that tempers actually started to flare. Marcus Smart and Giannis Antetokounmpo had some choice words for each other about the incident, and game officials and coaches had to separate them both.
Moreover, no traditional handshake took place after the game. USA head coach Gregg Popovich allowed the Greeks to leave the court first so that both teams won’t meet each other in the dugout.
Barnes is averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in the tournament, so losing him would’ve been a major blow to Team USA’s hopes of winning the FIBA World Cup title. Fortunately, he’s doing great and will be good to go in their next game against Brazil.