Marcus Smart explains why Team USA was upset with the Antetokounmpo brothers
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart says he, Jaylen Brown and other members of Team USA took offense to Thanasis Antetokounmpo — the brother of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo — fouling Sacramento Kings small forward Harrison Barnes hard in the final minutes of USA’s win over Greece.
With 1:46 left in the game, Barnes poked the ball away and went in for what appeared to be an uncontested dunk. That’s when Thanasis chased down Barnes and fouled him hard.
Barnes finished the dunk, but landed hard on his feet and fell way out of bounds. Team USA players didn’t like the foul by Thanasis.
Harrison Barnes with the monster dunk on Thanasis Antetokoumpo. pic.twitter.com/AbwJQnek17
— Basketball Highlights (@BasketballHigh8) September 7, 2019
Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart let the Antetokounmpo brothers know postgame they didn’t appreciate the dangerous nature of the play.
“We took exception to that hard foul. The game was pretty much over, and he had no way of blocking the shot,” Smart said after the game, via John Karalis of Mass Live. “At that moment, you got to prepare for injuries, and we wouldn’t want nobody to be injured. We just let them know. It’s a learning moment for him. Because if the table was turned and somebody did that to them, we’d probably be having a whole different discussion right now, and we just wanted him to learn from that.”
“Yeah, I said something to Giannis,” Brown said. “Well, Giannis said something to me, really. But, we got bigger fish to fry. So, we move on.”
Team USA won the game by a final score of 69-53. Luckily, Barnes didn’t get hurt on the play.
Giannis’ Bucks teammate, Team USA forward Khris Middleton, played peacemaker and pushed Giannis away from Brown and Smart in the postgame scrum.