Giannis on Sit-Down Celebration in Bucks' Win vs. 76ers: 'Just Like to Have Fun'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after making a basket during overtime in an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo provided a simple explanation Wednesday for why he sat down on the Wells Fargo Center court late in overtime of his team's 109-105 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers: He was just having fun.

Antetokounmpo told reporters he came out with a different mindset in the second half after trailing by 14:

"Is there something wrong with having fun? I don't think there's anything wrong with having fun. I just like to have fun. In the first half, I was not having fun. I kind of, you know, talked to myself at the half and said, 'No matter how bad the game is, you can't forget what you have to do, which is have fun.'

"Obviously, there's a couple times where I exaggerate, but I don't want to take anything back. I wasn't thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to sit down.' I was having fun. I was talking to my teammates—I was talking to them. I was just trying to be in the moment. But I was just having fun."

Antetokounmpo finished with a game-high 32 points to go with 15 rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes. Milwaukee outscored Philadelphia by five in the third quarter and nine in the fourth to force the extra period and walked away with a statement victory over a fellow Eastern Conference contender.

Not everybody was happy with the two-time reigning NBA MVP's celebration, though. Sixers center Dwight Howard said he almost channeled his inner "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:

"I wanted to go and Stone Cold Stunner him, but I had already got one tech. It's basketball. He wanted to have fun, but we'll see these guys again. Today, we allowed them to get back into the game. We did it. We can't control that.

"But he had a hell of a game. Hit some tough shots late at the end of the game, reigning MVP, and he had a great game. I'm not one to talk trash or say anything negative, but we'll see them again and it'll be a different result."

The Bucks (26-14) and Sixers (28-13) will meet again for two straight on April 22 and April 24 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Those matchups could play a key role in helping determine which team gets the No. 1 seed in the East.