The Nets’ trolling of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free-throw routine has to come to an end.
According to Peter Botte of the New York Post, the NBA ordered the Nets to stop timing Antetokoumpo’s free throws via a timer on the scoreboard. Per Botte, “The league doesn’t advocate teams inciting the taunting of other players.”
The timer was put in place for Game 1 of the Nets vs. Bucks series by the Barclays Center staff. It came about after Antetokounmpo had picked up a rare free-throw violation in Milwaukee’s sweep of the Heat.
By rule, an NBA player must release the ball on a free throw within 10 seconds of receiving it from the referee. Because of Antetokounmpo’s long routine, he often cuts it close or runs over the allotted time.
However, he is rarely called for a violation. Thus, the timer was put in place to amp up the crowd as the Greek Freak drew closer to the deadline for release and demonstrate to the officials when he had, in fact, taken longer than 10 seconds.
You can see how it worked via the video below.
While the timer may have energized the fans on hand, it did little to impact the coaches during the game. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer did say that he noticed people looking at the Jumbotron, but he was more focused on the game than anything else.
“There was one time where I felt like people were looking at the Jumbotron, but I didn’t really know why,” Budenholzer said. “You never know what’s going on up there, and it’s rare that I even can pick up the hint of something.”
Even still, the NBA has shuttered that for the time being. The Nets faithful will have to find another way to distract Giannis from the line if the Bucks make it back to Brooklyn for Game 5.
The Nets are currently leading the series 2-0 and had a 39-point win over the Bucks in Game 2. Game 3 is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night in Milwaukee.