Giannis Antetokounmpo denied LaMelo Ball jersey after Bucks beat Hornets
Giannis Antetokounmpo sunk a "sneaky" winning shot in the Milwaukee Bucks' triumph over the Charlotte Hornets, but missed out on a souvenir from the game.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo hit the winning shot as the NBA champions snatched victory over the Charlotte Hornets, before being frustrated in his attempts to get LaMelo Ball's jersey.
The Bucks superstar powered in for a late driving layup with 2.0 seconds remaining as the in-form Bucks (14-8) landed their eighth consecutive victory.
It capped a game that saw him rack up 40 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the finesse Antetokounmpo showed from close range at the death reflected his mastery of the craft.
He said: "I knew in the position that I was, there were two different routes: throw a floater up or try to sneak it in. And when you try to sneak it in, you've got to put spin.
"If you just go normal, most likely you're going to get blocked. So you've got to be sneaky with it."
Antetokounmpo scored 40 or more points in a game for the third time this season, and he said of his late heroics: "You've got to take them. You've got to be in the situation and learn from them.
"If you play a long time you're going to be in this situation at least 100, 200, 300 times. Sometimes you're going to miss, sometimes you're going to make some shots.
"You've got to be able to have the guts and the edge to be able to be in the situation, because you only learn from them."
"They took the jersey from me" - Giannis loses Ball souvenir
He made a beeline for Ball's jersey at the end of the game. Antetokounmpo had admired the Hornets star throughout the game as the 20-year-old, in his second year with the Hornets, scored an NBA career-high 36 points.
But asked after the game about that moment, Antetokounmpo revealed the jersey was not in his possession for long.
"They took the jersey from me," Antetokounmpo said. "I think the NBA wanted the jersey back, somebody wanted the jersey back.
"It's okay, I'll get another one next time. I was excited for it too, he had a great game."
"He played good": Giannis pleased with Cousins as new recruit makes debut
The game saw DeMarcus Cousins make his Bucks debut, having arrived as a free agent. The former All-Star played just under 15 minutes and scored seven points, in his season debut, having spent last year with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.
"I was very excited for DeMarcus Cousins," Antetokounmpo said. "Obviously he was trying to feel more comfortable out there. He hasn't played in a long time.
"I think it was kind of weird for him that people didn't double-team him. He was just basically playing one on one down there. He played good, and we're going to need him a lot moving forward.
"He's so big out there in the paint, and he's a threat out there when he's with us."