<
>

Giannis Antetokounmpo misses game vs. Kings after son's birth

play
Giannis' 9th straight double-double leads Bucks past Magic (1:31)

Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes his matchup vs. the Magic with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists as the Bucks win 111-95. (1:31)

MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo had a good reason not to report to work.

The NBA's reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks superstar welcomed his first child, Liam Charles Antetokounmpo, into the world. He shared the news via Twitter.

Milwaukee still managed to beat the Sacramento Kings on Monday 123-111 -- a game Antetokounmpo officially missed due to personal reasons.

His teammates Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both finished with 28 points apiece to pick up the slack, though. Middleton also grabbed 11 rebounds with eight assists and Bledsoe dished out eight assists as well. Brook Lopez added 20 points.

"It's a blessing, especially for Giannis. First time being a dad," Bledsoe said. "We can help him out as much as we can and he's going to enjoy it.

"He's definitely been asking about certain situations, and we kind of give him little tips, but he's going to have to figure it out, just like he do the basketball game."

Milwaukee outscored Sacramento 35-21 in the fourth to seal its fifth consecutive victory. The Bucks are 4-0 without Antetokounmpo on the season with a league-best 46-7 record. Only seven teams in NBA history have won 46 of their first 53 games.

"We definitely feel like we've got one of the best players out there, and he wasn't out there tonight, but we still think we have one of the best teams in the league," Middleton said. "Teams may think they might still be able to run away when he's not out there, but that's what motivates us to let them know that, 'Hey, we're still a complete team.'

"We're an even better team when he's out there, but when he's not out there, we can still hold it down."

Ahead of the tip-off, Kings coach Luke Walton shared his respect for Antetokounmpo's decision to sit out.

"He's being a good father. It's most important to be a good father," Walton said. "I'm proud of him for making that decision."

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he wouldn't go into detail on the personal matter, but did reveal that "we're excited for him."

"I have no comment just in case it's a false Twitter account," Budenholzer joked.

Earlier Monday, the Bucks and Kings also hosted the second installment of Team Up for Change, a summit aimed at addressing social injustice.

At the time, the status of Antetokounmpo's first child was unclear, but Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry offered his support for the family.

"I have no information on the whereabouts of Baby Freak or when Baby Freak is going to be here, but I know from the entire Bucks organization, we're hoping for nothing but a healthy and happy mother and baby," Lasry said. "And hopefully a future Buck."

Before exiting the locker room, Middleton did share a valuable piece of advice for Antetokounmpo, based off his own personal knowledge as he experiences fatherhood.

"Learn how to change diapers quick. That was mine, changing diapers. I had never changed a diaper before in my life until my daughter came," Middleton advised Antetokounmpo. "And listen to the mom. Whatever the mom says, do it without question or otherwise you're going to get that wrath that nobody wants."