Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been suspended for the team's final game of the regular season for head-butting Washington Wizards forward/center Moe Wagner on Wednesday, according to ESPN. Antetokounmpo was hit with a one-game suspended for the incident and is eligible to return when the Bucks take on the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the team's first-round playoff series. The Bucks' next game is on Thursday, and it's unlikely the reigning MVP would have played in the game since the team already clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
The incident occurred on Tuesday night when Wagner took a charge against Antetokounmpo in the second quarter. That led to Antetokounmpo going after Wagner, and the head-butt took place a few seconds later. He was then hit with a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that was Antetokounmpo's first ejection since April 1, 2018, and his fourth overall.
Giannis headbutted Mo Wagner and got ejected 😳 pic.twitter.com/vmRJuKqF5v— ESPN (@espn) August 12, 2020
"Terrible action," Antetokounmpo said to reporters after the game. "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." When asked why he reacted the way he did, Antetokounmpo said he was responding to build-up emotion over the course of the contest.
"I don't think I was frustrated with Wagner," Antetokounmpo said. "I think it was just the whole, like, the build-up of dirty plays in my mind. Guys tripping me, guys falling in front of my feet, holding me, hitting me. It wasn't just — I don't have nothing against Wagner, it wasn't just him."
Antetokounmpo finishes the 2019-20 regular season with averages of 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Those numbers will likely put him in the running to win his second consecutive NBA MVP award, but players like LeBron James, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard are also in the running to be named the league's most valuable player.