Mark Cuban says if he were in charge of the ball at the center of the Giannis Antetokounmpovs. Pacers tiff... the Bucks superstar would be disappointed -- 'cause he would've given the memento to Indiana.
The Dallas Mavericks honcho didn't mince words when talking about the topic to TMZ Sports on Thursday ... saying, "if you have a rookie who's never scored before in an NBA game, that's a big deal that only happens once."
"So," he continued, "I'd give the ball to the rookie."
Giannis goers sprinting down the tunnel and then returns a minute later to go off on Lloyd Pierce and Tyrese Halliburton demanding they get the game ball back as one of the Pacers took it pic.twitter.com/MocZ4VPNBi
Of course, Giannis felt differently following Milwaukee's 140-126 win over Indiana at the Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night ... going absolutely ballistic when the Pacers wanted to hand the ball off to Oscar Tshiebwe for scoring his first NBA basket instead of to the two-time MVP who had just scored 64 points.
Antetokounmpo ran to the front of the Pacers' locker room to confront them -- before he sprinted back on the court to complain to arena officials about the ball some more.
Eventually, a basketball was given to Giannis ... though he told reporters afterward he wasn't sure if it was actually the one he used to drop a franchise-high mark for points during the game.
Cuban said the home team should ultimately be the one to make the call in the situation -- though he said he'd just have to give it up to the rookie in this instance ... but would still do something nice for Giannis.
LEAKED Audio Of Pacers Refusing To Give Giannis Antetokounmpo The “Game Ball”👀:
“You want the ball? You’re not getting that ball”
Then, Giannis gets heated at Tyrese Haliburton and yells at him: “Go get the f*cking ball! You need to go get it” pic.twitter.com/e9XAQzNZVl
"With situations like that," he said, "I'd take the box score, I'd get his teammates to sign it and I'd frame it for him."
He added that if Giannis really wanted the ball -- he recommended bartering with the rookie for it ... perhaps by signing a jersey or even forking over some cash.
"Sixty-four is a big deal," Cuban said. "It rarely, rarely, rarely happens. And for Giannis it was a big deal, but if it's my home game, unless the rookie says it's OK, I'm giving the ball to the rookie."