Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo Suspended 1 Game for Head-Butting Moe Wagner

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to move the ball against the Houston Rockets during an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been suspended one game after head-butting Washington Wizards center Moritz Wagner, the NBA announced on Wednesday. 

He will miss Thursday's final seeding game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Milwaukee has already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The incident came in the second quarter of Tuesday's game against the Wizards, following an offensive foul called against Antetokounmpo. After some back-and-forth chatter, the Bucks forward head-butted his opponent:

Antetokounmpo was given a flagrant-2 foul and was ejected from the game.

It was only the third time the 25-year-old has been ejected in his career, while he also only has six flagrant fouls in seven years in the NBA.

Giannis apologized for the incident after the game, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic: 

"Terrible action. If I could go back and 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. I think I've done a great job all year, in my career, of keeping my composure and focusing on the game, but like I said, we're human, we make mistakes. But at the end of the day, learn from it, keep playing good basketball and keep moving forward."

He also noted his anger wasn't with Wagner but a "buildup of dirty plays in my mind."

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It was the second time in the Orlando bubble that Antetokounmpo seemingly lost his cool, also having an altercation with Brooklyn Nets forward Donta Hall:

On that occasion, he was separated before he did any damage.

There is no denying Antetokounmpo's impact on the court, entering the day averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. He is the reigning MVP of the league and is a favorite to bring home the award for a second straight year.

The Bucks have plenty of depth to survive without the superstar, led by Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe. Brook Lopez has also had big games in Orlando while more than 10 players can contribute on a given night.

Being the most efficient defense in the NBA should also help the team compete without its top scorer.

Milwaukee is still fortunate not to lose one of the best players in the league for any playoff games as it tries to bring home a championship.