by Alex Poletti
Photo by SportingNews
Shaking off any doubt during a post-game interview, soon-to-be MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo told reports that he “feels good,” and “could play more,” during a critical game four against the Miami Heat, despite the complete absence of his right foot following a mid-game amputation.
“Honestly, I feel great,” the Defensive Player of the Year says, blood pouring out of his poorly-bandaged stump leg. “I could play for hours. I’m ready to get back on the court.”
Once considered heavy favorites to win the NBA finals, the Bucks find themselves down 3-0 against a surging Miami team led by veteran Jimmy Butler. One reason for the Bucks’ fall from grace is the poor performance of superstar Antetokounmpo, who is heavily favored to win his second straight MVP award. Giannis was seen severely limping after the loss, most likely due to the amputation of his foot during the second half.
“Players get injured, it happens,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says. “But we’re a tough team. That’s why we won as many games as we did during the regular season. And Giannis is as tough as anyone. He can play through a little pain. Who needs both feet to play basketball anyway?”
It’s unclear how exactly Budenholzer plans to utilize his star forward, but the coach of the year finalist assures fans and reporters alike that Antetokounmpo will be on the court for game four.
“I can’t play like I would with both feet, I think that’s clear,” the Greek star says. “But I think this is a chance to showcase the cerebral side of my game. Maybe if I get the floor wet enough with all of the blood spurting out of the hole in my leg, I can change the pace of their offense.”
The Bucks couldn’t hold on after Giannis tragically lost his foot, getting outscored by 27 points in the fourth quarter, the largest fourth quarter points differential in a playoff game in the shot clock era.
The Bucks are willing to try anything to get Giannis back in game shape for the elimination game, even methods that are not exactly scientifically approved.
“I mean, if he needs a foot I can give him a foot,” teammate Khris Middleton says. “We have to ask ourselves in the end, ‘what’s better: all of our players with their corresponding limbs, or a frankenstein Giannis and a bunch of dismembered teammates?’ At the end of the day, we have to do what’s best for our team and for our championship hopes.”