NBA was once enshrouded by a culture of trash-talk, on-court brawling, and staredowns. It was all part of their competitiveness, and those acts served as their outlets. The audience was both entertained and accustomed to this behavior, and it was accepted as part of the game for many years.

But there was one moment during the Bucks vs. Pistons game that had everyone wondering if we were past the prime of that culture.

Giannis Antetokounmpo gets ejected due to a stare down?

On Wednesday, Antetokounmpo unleashed his impressive skills on the court against the Detroit Pistons before being whistled down for a technical foul.

The controversial ‘so-called’ foul happened during the third quarter, with only 9 minutes left on the clock. And Antetokounmpo , being the dominant force that he is, executed a spectacular one-handed dunk and, upon landing, stared down for apparently “too long” at Pistons center Isaiah Stewart.

He was on his way to celebrate his impressive dunk when suddenly the referee blew the whistle. Confused, Antetokounmpo quickly strode over to the referee in an appalled state. A few seconds later, he was seen trying to argue with the referee, but the referee, in turn, merely ignored his qualms.

Also shocked by the unexpected turn of events, the crowd’s cheers quickly died down, and the commentators in the background asked, “”What did [Antetokounmpo] do?”

After glaring down Stewart, Antetokounmpo was given a technical foul for “taunting”, as per Yahoo Sports. And, unfortunately, that was the Bucks star’s second foul in the game, which, according to NBA regulations, results in an automatic ejection.

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Despite the Bucks’ Center being ruled out for the remainder of the match, the team was able to escape with a narrow victory, 120-118, over the Pistons.

NBA’s pool report

Following the game, Referee Rodney Mott provided the following explanation of the sequence of events leading to Antetokounmpo’s ejection.


Foul 1: “On the play, Giannis drives to the basket and he thinks he gets fouled. Then he approaches the game official and uses profanity, which is an unsportsmanlike technical foul and was issued at that time.”

Foul 2: “After the dunk, Giannis turns to his opponent and taunts him and a taunting technical foul was called, an unsportsmanlike. And he was ejected from the game, per rule, because two unsportsmanlike technical fouls, you are ejected from the game.”

Fans says league has gone ‘softer’

Following the incident, numerous fans vented their frustrations about how the league has become “softer” on X.

One X user commented, “Nobody wants this, NBA. We want stare downs, hanging on the rim, and fun celebrations. Get over yourselves.”

While another X user added, “That’s not even a stare down… So soft…What happened to the game I love?”

One X user also noted that these kinds of incidents takes away the fun of the game, “@NBA change this garbage rule. This kinda stuff takes away from the game. Let em do staredowns. If you dunk on someone, you deserve to be able to look them straight in the eyes and let em know.”

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