The Bucks and Hawks will play two games in Abu Dhabi for the NBA preseason and Giannis Antetokounmpo's attempt to pet a white falcon was not very successful at all...
In particular, the Bucks' Greek superstar took it in his hands, started stroking it until it moved and scared the "Greek Freak", who in turn... put it right back, with the audience bursting into laughter.
— NBA (@NBA) October 5, 2022
The Bucks will play exhibition games in Abu Dhabi against the Hawks on Thursday and Saturday, and while the trip was “already controversial due to the country’s human rights violations," the teams "also are flying over just after a truce between UAE and neighbouring Yemen expired on Sunday,” according to Jim Owczarski of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.
Asked about the safety of the Bucks, Hawks and their traveling parties already in Abu Dhabi and en route to the UAE, NBA EVP/Communications Mike Bass said in a statement: “We will continue to work with the relevant U.S. authorities to ensure the safety and security of our players, coaches and traveling parties.”
Bucks ownership, coaches and players “have expressed excitement over the trip and sponsors and families are accompanying the team.”
The JOURNAL SENTINEL's Owczarski in a separate piece notes for the Bucks, at least “one practice will be open, and the team will be involved in various outreach and public relations events.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Bucks President Peter Feigin have “addressed concerns over the league and team’s presence in the country,” as the U.S. Department of State has noted "has 'significant human rights issues’ and has criminalised the LGBTQ+ community.”
Though this trip is long, Bucks co-owner Jamie Dinan said that the "entire ownership group is headed over, along with some sponsors, and head coach Mike Budenholzer said he was surprised to hear near-unanimous support from his staff and players on the trip.”
In Milwaukee, Hannah Kirby writes Bucks Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo's "new thing" is Skittles, which he was "definitely bringing to Abu Dhabi."
I got the essentials packed 🛫🤣 pic.twitter.com/DhSw0ELOTe
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) October 3, 2022