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NBA asked Nets to stop using Giannis Antetokounmpo countdown clock

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Each time Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped to the line in Game 1 of the Nets-Bucks series, he was greeted by a multimedia experience.

On the big Daktronics board above half court, a digital clock counted down the number of seconds Antetokounmpo held the ball before shooting it. In the stands, the Brooklyn Brigade accompanied the countdown. Players must shoot the ball within 10 seconds of being handed it by the ref. Antetokounmpo, an awful foul shooter, is notorious for holding on to the ball and the refs are reluctant to call him on it.

It was a lot of fun and apparently effective.

Antetokounmpo went 0-for-3 in the game, each miss leading to raucous cheering.

But when the Nets and Bucks took the court on Monday, the countdown clock was missing and according to reports, the NBA objected to it, had it removed. Gamesmanship (and trolling) has its limits. Peter Botte of the Post reported Tuesday night...

An NBA source said the league ordered the Nets to cut out the gamesmanship tactic of a timer shown on the overhead scoreboard at Barclays Center during Game 1 of their playoff series against the Bucks whenever the two-time MVP was at the line. The league doesn’t advocate teams inciting the taunting of other players, the source added.

So in place of the clock, the Nets showed Mr. Whammy gesturing at Antetokounmpo, who kept missing, going 2-of-7 in Game 2. The ban didn’t stop the Brigade either...

And they took their job very seriously...

Both head coaches, Mike Budenholzer and Steve Nash, said they hadn’t noticed the countdown clock, which strains credibility. And the Nets didn’t respond when asked about the controversy. A Barclays Center spokesperson said she was unaware of it.

The Bucks won’t be back in Brooklyn until Game 5 (if necessary). You be sure that if Antetokounmpo goes to the line again, the men and women of Section 114 haven’t forgotten how to count.