Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a stellar season thus far with the Bucks, but that doesn’t mean the first month of the season has come without its fair share of bumps. The Bucks sit at just 10th place in the East with a 9-9 record, and frustrations boiled over during the team’s last game against the Jazz in Utah.
Antetokounmpo, frustrated after a timeout was called, proceeded to walk towards the bench and was met by Bucks assistant coach Sean Sweeney. Sweeney made a comment directed at Antetokounmpo, and Giannis got his fair share of (possible NSFW) words in:
Antetokounmpo and Sweeney share a close relationship and have worked together for the better part of the last three years. In the past, you would see Sweeney, a former video coordinator, going over film with Antetokounmpo on the bench or in practice.
What sparked the heated altercation is unknown, and the Bucks went on to lose the game 108-121. Antetokounmpo is not a player who typically shows this much emotion and frustration, causing fans to wonder what was said that pushed him over the edge in a clearly heated moment.
Giannis Antetokounmpo would later clear the air on the incident with Sweeney, citing it was an argument between brothers. Following comes from Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“That’s what me and Sweeney do,” Antetokounmpo said, later pointing to Sweeney grinning across the gym and remarking that Sweeney is usually loath to crack a smile. “You always fight with your brothers. It’s something common. Me and Sweeney we’re so tight. He always speaks the truth to me and I always speak the truth to him. We’ve done this in the past, just this time it was caught on national TV.
“But me and Sweeney we’re OK, that’s what we do — we fight, we argue, but at the end of the day, we both want to win. I don’t think there’s anybody from this team who wants to win more than Sweeney and me and coach (Jason) Kidd, of course.”
Sweeney joined the Bucks in 2014 when Kidd was hired as head coach. Since then, he and Antetokounmpo have been virtually joined at the hip. Sweeney guides Antetokounmpo through film study, goes with him to practice at any hour of the day and pushes Milwaukee’s young star every chance he gets.
“We want to win and he believes in me,” Antetokounmpo said. “We spent all this summer working on our game, working on our defense and just got ready for this season.
“When things don’t go our way we both get frustrated. Looking back at the clip and looking back at last night, I just understand that he wants to win and if sometimes he comes off wrong toward me or I come off wrong towards him, it’s for the good of the team because we both want to win.”