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Bucks sat Giannis Antetokounmpo last season after Jabari Parker called out his practice intensity


<> at Staples Center on December 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Sean M. Haffey

Giannis Antetokounmpo puzzlingly sat for a game last April with the Bucks still playing to clinch a playoff berth.

Mystery explained.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Everyone within the Bucks describes Parker as a diligent worker who cares about the team first. It was Parker who called out Antetokounmpo for lazing through a practice in April, several team sources have told me. Jason Kidd, the team’s head coach, benched Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee’s next game -- a move the team never explained publicly.

That Kidd sided with Jabari Parker says something about the dispute.

In the long run, the Bucks need both Parker and Antetokounmpo to reach higher levels.

Parker, just 62 games into his career, isn’t there yet. He must add a 3-point shot, defend better and draw more fouls.

Neither is Antetokounmpo, despite his tremendous strides since entering the league. He still needs to improve his jumper and become a little less reckless.

In the right environment, they’ll hold each other accountable and push each other to get better. That might be what Milwaukee has.

The Bucks just must be careful it doesn’t turn into internal sniping and disharmony.