The Kings and Milwaukee Bucks were the talk of the NBA on Monday night when Trey Lyles and Brook Lopez were ejected following a skirmish late in the fourth quarter.
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon made his thoughts on the brouhaha crystal clear on Tuesday’s episode of “Pardon the Interruption.”
“I was fascinated by this 9.5 [out of 10] of a game – that's how good it was,” Wilbon said. “It was a playoff game. It was contentious. People that are complaining there is too much fraternization -- not these guys!”
It all began when Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, leading by eight points with under 20 seconds to play, dribbled in front of Kings forward Trey Lyles. Lyles didn’t enjoy that exchange and retorted by fouling Antetokounmpo and shoving him away.
Lopez rushed to the two-time MVP’s defense, exchanging shoves with Lyles as teammates rushed to the rescue.
Most pundits handed Lyles the blame, but Wilbon wasn’t so sure.
“Giannis provoked. He did,” Wilbon said. “By the way, I don’t have a problem with Giannis doing what he did. It was a Bill Laimbeer sort of move to dribble in front of Trey Lyles. And Trey Lyles of Sacramento said, no, all you people, you think we’re punks. We’re not having this.”
Wilbon also enjoyed Kings coach Mike Brown’s comments after the game.
"We ain’t gonna take s--t from nobody,” Brown said. “Trust me on that. They all have each other’s back in there. We won’t go out there and start something but we stand up for ourselves and each other.”
The Bucks swept the two-game season series against Sacramento with a 133-124 victory on Monday and a 126-113 win in December. Wilbon, however, would like to watch these two teams match up again in June.
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“This was a fabulous night of basketball. A fabulous game,” Wilbon said. “A fabulous confrontation. I want to see more like it in the playoffs.
“I would love to see Milwaukee against Sacramento in the Finals although people like [co-host Tony Kornheiser] and Stephen A. [Smith] just want big markets in New York and LA. I would love this.
“But Giannis provoked it. He did. He wasn’t even upset when Lyles pushed him. He wasn’t because he knew what he did. It was cool, I’m fine with it.”