Giannis Jokes He's 'Just Here Not to Get Fined' at NBA Finals Press Conference

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo took a page out of former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch's book while talking to the media Saturday.

When asked whether he was excited to play in front of the home fans during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, Giannis offered a funny response:


โ€œIโ€™m just here not to get fined.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚<br><br>Giannis pulled a Marshawn Lynch during his media availability. <a href="https://t.co/kycI0ah0su">pic.twitter.com/kycI0ah0su</a>

"I'm just here not to get fined," Giannis said, before laughing and making it clear he was joking.

The line was a throwback to when Lynchโ€”while he was playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2015โ€”spoke to the media prior to Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots.

Rather than answering the questions asked of him, Lynch would only say, "I'm just here so I won't get fined," multiple times:

Lynch was never a big fan of speaking to the media, so he found a loophole to fulfill his obligations without having to say much at all.

The Seahawks went on to lose Super Bowl XLIX when quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception at New England's goal line in the closing seconds, and head coach Pete Carroll has received plenty of criticism ever since for not handing Lynch the ball instead.

Giannis' spoof of Lynch came on the heels of Milwaukee dropping each of the first two games of the 2021 NBA Finals to the Phoenix Suns.

It was unclear going into the series whether Antetokounmpo would be able to play at all after suffering a leg injury in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, but he has been up to the challenge.

In a Game 2 loss to Phoenix on Thursday, Giannis put up 42 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He received little help from his teammates, though, resulting in a 118-108 defeat.

The Bucks' backs are against the wall as the series shifts back to Milwaukee since a loss in Game 3 would likely face the Bucks with an insurmountable deficit.

The fact that Giannis is in good spirits despite the 2-0 series deficit may be a positive sign for the Bucks, as they prepare for Game 3 on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.