Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Giannis and a reserve big man for the Bucks, has entered health and safety protocols and is out for tonight’s game. He’s joined by assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer.
The Bucks aren’t alone, either. Official Sean Wright is also out for the same reason. He’ll be replaced as the game umpire by James Williams.
The string of news has basketball fans very concerned. We’ve seen outbreaks like this spiral across sports over the last year-and-a-half. Hopefully that isn’t the case here, but some are openly questioning if the game should be played tonight.
Watch, the whole team about to get it. These 2-3 days in between games gonna end up costing us a finals. https://t.co/ZS62ijBTET
— scott vener (@brokemogul) July 18, 2021
This is really crazy we have officials, players and coaches out with COVID and they’re still playing. https://t.co/MRdq6o59EV
— Mimi (@ItsShowTimeMimi) July 17, 2021
— Kevv (@CoffeeKyng) July 17, 2021
Postpone the game man https://t.co/l4xhPTZnJz
— 34 (@tonehej) July 17, 2021
how uhhhhh is the whole team not in the same protocol https://t.co/ajl4yajtbN
— nicholas grayson (@godsewa) July 18, 2021
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 17, 2021
So far, there is no indication that anyone else will miss tonight’s game. For those concerned about Giannis, and rightfully so considering his brother and one of the coaches closest to him are in protocols, the Bucks have announced that he’s in the building and in the starting lineup.
Giannis has arrived. pic.twitter.com/BYAcCCrbBe
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 17, 2021
Anything can happen in the next 18 minutes, but hopefully there isn’t any more drama before tipoff. And more importantly, that the outbreak has been mitigated by the protocols and that everyone is healthy and able to resume play soon.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns are tied at two games a piece as we enter tonight’s Game 5 in Phoenix. Tip off is set for 9 p.m. ET. Fingers crossed, everyone.