Giannis Antetokounmpo under fire from NBA fans over 'shameless' act

The Milwaukee Bucks star didn't have a care in the world as he indulged in a spot of stat-padding to close out a game in Washington.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's intentionally missed shot and rebound were rescinded by the NBA, denying the Bucks star his fifth triple-double of the NBA season. Pictures: NBA/Getty Images

Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo copped it from fans earlier in the week after a hilariously shameless attempt to pad his stats in a game against the Washington Wizards. The Milwaukee Bucks star found himself one rebound short of a triple-double during the closing seconds of their 117-111 win, but it was how he went about getting that left basketball die-hards in stitches.

Generally when it's clear the game has been won in the final seconds, it's good NBA etiquette to simply dribble the ball until time expires, not putting up shots or playing anything but the most casual defence. With this in mind and keen on his fifth triple-double of the year however, Antetokounmpo casually dribbled up to the basket before deliberately missing a layup, thereby earning his 10th board of the night.

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It was an unconventional move that has rarely been seen in NBA history - albeit enough precedent for the league to later strip Antetokounmpo of his final rebound. He still finished with an impressive 23 points and 13 assists as the Bucks maintained their place atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Nevertheless, the cheeky move saw Antetokounmpo become the butt of jokes from NBA fans on social media, who compared it to other infamous examples of players padding their stats. Ironically, one of the most controversial such incidents also happened against the Wizards, when Cleveland's Ricky Davis manufactured a triple-double in 2003.

NBA strips Giannis Antetokounmpo of triple-double in rules precedent

Another notably questionable triple-double was rescinded by the NBA back in 2004, when Atlanta Hawks guard Bob Sura grabbed the rebound from his own intentionally missed shot. This time though, it sparked a major controversy, establishing the precedent that saw Antetokounmpo's rebound not counted and resulting in Sura issuing a public apology.

"I'm disappointed that my attempt to turn my third triple-double caused so much controversy," Sura said at the time. "It was never my intention to make a mockery of our sport and to take any attention away from our huge win over the Nets. If anyone was offended by my actions, I sincerely apologise."

Giannis Antetokounmpo passes the ball past a Washington defender.
Giannis Antetokounmpo notched 23 points and 13 assists against the Wizards. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Antetokounmpo remains tied alongside fellow former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook with four triple-doubles for the season. Reigning MVP, Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic, leads the league this season with 25.

Antetokounmpo didn't get the same vitriol as Sura or Davis — yet — but it did re-open the NBA's stat-padding conversation ignited by ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins in February. Perkins claimed that Jokic, the MVP frontrunner, passed more to inflate his stats and get more triple-doubles.

But after Antetokounmpo's intentional miss-and-rebound Sunday night, Perkins tweeted "every player padded their stats at some point during their career."

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