Giannis Antetokounmpo ejected after head-butting Wizards forward Moritz Wagner

Ryan Young
·Writer
·3 min read

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s return to the court after dental surgery didn’t last long.

Antetokounmpo was ejected early in the second quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ 126-113 win against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night after he got into it with Moritz Wagner.

Antetokounmpo was called for an offensive foul minutes into the second quarter after he dropped his shoulder into Wagner — something that followed a contentious rebound exchange on the other end.

Antetokounmpo then started talking to Wagner after the play and ended up head-butting him, which quickly earned him a Flagrant 2 foul and an ejection.

“Terrible action,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “If I could go back, turn back time and go back to that play, I wouldn’t do it. But at the end of the day, we’re all human. We all make mistakes.”

He said he didn’t think he was frustrated with Wagner specifically, but rather it was the “whole build up” of plays that set him off.

The move didn’t sit well with Wizards star Bradley Beal, who tweeted quickly after the incident. Beal is not participating in the season restart while dealing with a right shoulder injury.

“That was a very strange few seconds,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said, via The Athletic’s Fred Katz. “I thought Moe stepped in and took a charge. That’s what you have to do ... A few seconds later, he got a head-butt. There’s no place for that. Giannis, I have a lot of respect [for] ... It’s unfortunate that it happened.”

Antetokounmpo ended the night with 12 points and nine rebounds in 10 minutes. He missed their loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night after needing last-minute dental surgery, something he didn’t have to leave the bubble for.

What kind of punishment will Antetokounmpo face?

The Bucks didn’t have any trouble cruising past the Wizards without Antetokounmpo.

Washington never led once in the blowout win, and the Bucks quickly pushed their lead to 22-points in the third quarter before holding on for the 13-point win.

Brook Lopez led Milwaukee with 24 points while shooting 9-of-11 from the floor, and Sterling Brown added 23 off the bench. Rookie Rui Hachimura dropped 20 points in the loss for the Wizards, who are still looking for their first win inside the bubble. Ish Smith added 19 off the bench, and Thomas Bryant put up 13.

The Bucks have already secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference and will take on the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs following their final seeding game on Thursday. It’s unclear what punishment the league will hand down after the ejection on Tuesday night, however anything more than a one-game suspension would mean the Bucks will have to enter the playoffs without the reigning league MVP.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks walks off the court after he is ejected during the first half against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. (Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)

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