Imagine the surprise of fans who logged on and saw uncharacteristic, disturbing, and racist tweets from the Twitter account of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Turns out they were not from the popular Milwaukee Bucks baller.
The social media accounts of the NBA’s reigning most valuable player were hacked.
And it wasn’t merely Antetokounmpo’s social media that was hacked, said his longtime girlfriend, Mariah Riddlespringer, and his brother, Kostas.
“Giannis’ twitter, phone, email, and bank accounts were hacked!” Riddlespringer and Kostas wrote. “He genuinely apologizes for everything that was tweeted and he will be back as soon as possible! The things that were said by this hacker were extremely inappropriate and disgusting!”
The hacker posted “a series of hate-filled text, including racist language, an assertion that Antetokounmpo had been diagnosed with coronavirus, disrespect directed toward late NBA star Kobe Bryant — Antetokounmpo’s basketball idol — and multiple false and crass statements about other NBA players,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The Bucks said an investigation has been launched into the hack. The hacker’s posts on Antetokounmpo’s social media have been deleted.
When Antetokounmpo regained access to his Twitter account, he posted: “Hey everybody! I’m back and would like to address the social media incident from earlier today! I was hacked and the situation is currently being investigated. The tweets and posts were extremely inappropriate and I am so disappointed and disgusted that somebody would say the terrible things that were said.
“I feel terrible that the Bucks, Khris (Middleton), Lebron (James), and the Curry family were included in the malicious and untrue tweets. I feel especially terrible for the Bryant family, during their time of grief they should not be subjected to this type of negativity and foul behavior. Thank you all for always supporting my family and I, and please stay safe!”
Could there be something more to the Antetokounmpo hack? There have been rumors that the Golden State Warriors have reportedly been “preparing for years” to target Antetokounmpo via trade or free agency.
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“Though all indications are that he’s on good terms with team management, league sources believe that Antetokounmpo would want out of Milwaukee if he loses confidence in the franchise’s ability to win championships,” Connor Letourneau wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is why the NBA shutdown could buoy the Warriors’ chances of landing their long-coveted Greek.”
Antetokounmpo’s contract with Milwaukee goes through the 2020-2021 season, “but if he doesn’t sign a long-term extension during the offseason, the team may be forced to explore trade options to avoid the potential of losing him to the open market in 2021,” the Bleacher Report wrote.
Some sports followers believe that by acquiring Antetokounmpo, the Warriors could restart their dynasty, which led to three championships from 2015 through 2018.