The NBA and its crop of referees “want you to flop,” according to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Greek Freak, however, refuses to play that game: “I’m just gonna try to power through contact.”
Antetokounmpo finished with 32 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists Thursday night, leading the Milwaukee Bucks past the visiting Boston Celtics 128-123 for their fifth consecutive win.
“It’s kind of hard because in the NBA, the way it’s built, they want you to flop,” Antetokounmpo said of playing physically. “It wants you to be weak, kind of, because sometimes I think when you’re strong and you’re going through contact, they don’t call the foul. But when you’re flopping and kind of going into the contact and throwing the ball out, they’re just going to call foul, but that’s not who I am, that’s not what I’m gonna do.
“I’m just gonna try to power through contact. It’s going to be … where if a guy grabs me or pushes me, I’ve got to show it more, but I think I’ve done a better job of showing it more so the refs can see that the guys are holding me, pushing me and just being physical.”
Antetokounmpo says he’s noticing players trying to draw fouls by falling to the ground in front of him and feels it’s “dangerous” for fear of rolling his ankle.
“I cannot be thinking about plays if I am going to get hurt. I think I am pretty good about avoiding situations that you can get hurt and avoiding guys on the floor,” Antetokounmpo said. “If somebody is taking a charge, you have to step in the right place so you don’t sprain your ankle, or for you not to step wrong and hurt your knee or something, but I think I’m pretty good with that. I know how to avoid contact. I was pretty skinny my whole career so I know how to avoid the contact. I just try to be aggressive and try to be in the moment and my instinct is going take over.”