Kendrick Perkins believes Giannis Antetokounmpo got star treatment in suspension for headbutt


Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo received a one-game suspension for his headbutt of Wizards forward Moe Wagner during the teams' matchup on Tuesday.

Though the suspension itself was not a true surprise, the length of the punishment was. For a move that could have seriously put another player in danger, Antetokounmpo was only forced to miss the final seeding game in Orlando, which did not matter for his team and many expected him not to play in anyways.

On ESPN's The Jump, ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe explained how he was not shocked by terms of the suspension, as it is on par for what the league has done in the past.

"I think the precedent is, one game is typical," Lowe said. "Giannis wasn’t playing this game anyway."


Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins had a very different opinion on the matter.

Stemming from the fact that Antetokounmpo wasn't even planning to play in the game he missed, Perkins viewed the treatment as a weak slap on the wrist by the NBA. He felt as if the star's reputation impacted the punishment and that it sets a bad example for the rest of the league.

"Yes, it was unfair. This is not MMA, this is basketball. You cannot be headbutting people," Perkins said. "Giannis got star treatment because anybody else would have at least got two-to-three games, right? One game suspension for headbutting somebody? This is professional basketball. I do not think it's fair. One game."


Perkins makes a reasonable point, as Antetokounmpo could have easily caused a lot of harm to either his head or Wagner's, and trauma to that area can have serious consequences. Still, it is interesting to see Perkins take that stance when one considers his past experiences in the NBA. Host Rachel Nichols recalled an incident with Tyreke Evans in 2015 in which Perkins appeared to headbutt Evans.

Perkins explained that was different, as he was not deliberately trying to headbutt him. If he had, he says the outcome would have been a lot different.

"My headbutt wasn’t, uh, I didn’t put that into it. We kinda just bumped heads," Perkins said. "You're talking about me and Tyreke Evans. I remember that because I was trying to protest that that wasn’t a headbutt, I didn’t deliberately throw a blow."

"If I woulda headbutted Tyreke I woulda knocked him out!" Perkins said. 

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