‘Trying to F**king Kill Me’: Moe Wagner Reflects on the Time Giannis Antetokounmpo Head-Butted Him in Orlando Bubble

Published 09/10/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Mar 13, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks as Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) looks on during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Giannis Antetokounmpo is mostly on the good side while playing in the NBA. His sole focus is always to win the game and play his part in doing so. However, even the Finals MVP has his angry moments sometimes.

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The ‘Greek Freak’ has had a few altercations throughout his career. While he is energetic due to his dominant play, sometimes it is sheer anger that takes over. Being a man of pride, Antetokounmpo despises any disrespect. Likewise, Moe Wagner fell victim to his wrath in the bubble.

Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) begins to celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game six of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It was a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards in the Orlando bubble. The Bucks were the top seed preparing for the playoffs while Wizards were on a 6 game losing streak. The game was rather physical and Giannis ended up only playing 11 minutes because he was ejected.

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13 days ago

Wagner talks Giannis Antetokounmpo headbutt

He was thrown out because he head-butted Wizards’ Moe Wagner during a timeout in the second quarter. Recently, Wagner explained the incident. He explained how Antetokounmpo might have been angry before the incident as Wagner hit him unintentionally, causing him to fall.

Following the incident, Giannis went in for the kill. Wagner explained: “Budenholzer is calling a play and I’m watching Giannis the entire time. Budenholzer is calling a play and Giannis said ‘f**k that, give me the ball’. Takes the ball and just dribbles downhill like with his look in his eyes like he is trying to f**king kill me. And I literally just fell.”

He then spoke about how they crossed paths during the timeout and knew something was going to happen. Wagner said: “Somebody calls a timeout and we cross paths again. And I could tell like he was like trying to talk or do anything, he was going for anything. We literally cross paths and I look away, and I would never have expected him to headbutt me.” 

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Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game four of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wagner admitted that it hurt, and he knew that was the end of Giannis Antetokounmpo for the game. But, Antetokounmpo still had 12 points and 9 rebounds in 10 minutes. He went on to receive a one-game suspension for his actions.

Do you think Giannis deserved to receive a one-game suspension for the headbutt? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

286 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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