Look out Charles Barkley, Basil Zempilas is coming for your seat on Inside the NBA.
Barkley has a long history of butchering names of players in the league, but he may have met his match in Zempilas.
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On Channel 7, newsreader Zempilas was talking about reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo finding himself in hot water after his headbutt on Wednesday. Unfortunately it was Zempilas who quickly landed in hot water.
As he began to read the Greek superstar’s name out he quickly realised he was in too deep but just kept pushing through.
“One of the NBA’s biggest star’s is in hot water on the eve of the playoffs, Giannis An-te-toka-toma-too was ejected for headbutting during the Bucks penultimate regular season game against the Wizards,” he said.
Hahahaha probably the most butchered pronunciation of Antetokounmpo followed by Damian LILLIARD. Thanks Basil. pic.twitter.com/DnBbCt9QjQ
Zempilas isn’t the first and he likely won’t be the last to make a meal of pronouncing Antetokounmpo, but his attempt went down like a lead balloon with social media users.
“This man really called him Giannis AN-te-TOKA-toma-TOO … and then made Dame a French man. Heaven help us,” ESPN Australia’s Olgun Uluc wrote.
“Embarrassing,” basketball analyst Josh Lloyd tweeted.
“Oh no, Australia has a little bit of work to do covering the NBA,” NBA Australia write Kane Pitman tweeted.
“That Basil footage. The bit where he realises he’s cooked but just has to crash through is so good. Pure comedy,” Triple M’s Rudi Edsall tweeted.
“On behalf of all Australian NBA fans, I’m sorry,” Adam Howes wrote.
As the clips continued to roll, the highlights showed Damian Lillard hitting a deep three against the Dallas Mavericks with Zempilas again struggling with the surname pronunciation.
“Portland’s Damian Lill-i-ard scored a remarkable 61 points to get the Blazers over the line,” he said.
Zempilas can take solace in knowing even diehard NBA fans have tried and failed to correctly pronounce the reigning MVP’s name.
From former president Barack Obama to long-time NBA commentator Kevin Harlan, the failures have gone viral on social media.
In an interview with ESPN back in 2017 the man broke down the correct way to pronounce his surname, while also saying “whatever you got just say it”.
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