GameBallGate just got more interesting.
New video footage is making the rounds of last night’s incident between Giannis Antentokounmpo and the Indiana Pacers over the game ball. According to this new camera angle, an Indiana Pacers assistant coach was caught walking off the court with the game ball from Antentokounmpo’s career-high 64-point performance. The missing game ball sparked the postgame battle between the Bucks and Pacers.
“Coach Mike – Coach Mike, I’m not going to name a last name – Coach Mike takes the ball with a smile, like, ‘No, it’s my ball,'” the NBATV broadcaster commented during the clip. “Giannis is like, ‘No, this is my house, my ball, my rules.’ And he deserves it. If he was in Indiana, I would have gotten it. But being in Milwaukee, it’s just disrespectful. Then the smile afterwards, which rubbed me the wrong way.”
According to the Pacers media guide, “Coach Mike” is most likely assistant coach Mike Weiner, who has been an assistant coach at Indiana since 2021. Weinar was also an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks, where he won an NBA championship in 2011.
While Antentokounmpo did end up receiving a ball for all his efforts, he doesn’t believe he actually received the game ball of his career outing.
“I have a ball, but I don’t know if it is the game ball. It doesn’t feel like the game ball to me,” Antetokounmpo said. “It feels like a brand new ball. I can say, I played, what, 35 minutes today? I know how the match ball felt.”
Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said during last night’s post-game press conference that the team tried to save the game ball for rookie Oscar Tshiebwe’s first official basket. Carlisle also added that Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan was “elbowed in the ribs” by someone on the Milwaukee roster during the “fracas” outside the locker room.