- CLUTCH Summary: Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is one the rare guy who dunks in-game as well as he does during fun, viral videos.
- After an incredible 2018-19 NBA season, it’s easy to project the Bucks talent as being one of the very best players in the entire league.
- Even if only ranking his three best dunks from just last season, Giannis Antetokounmpo already has a package of dunks that would make most people drool.
27.7 points (on 57.8 percent shooting), 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 32.8 minutes per contest — this is the very stat line that delivered the Most Valuable Player trophy to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
However, aside form his outstanding play throughout an historic season, what made this year standout for the 24-year-old is the series of unbelievable poster dunks he amassed in what was easily his most dominant season as a pro. Today, we look back at some of Giannis’ most disrespectful jams in his MVP year, all of which definitely resonated throughout the entire NBA.
Honorable mention: vs. Rudy Gobert (Jan 7, 2019)
Last season, Antetokounmpo had a memorable moment against Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert. In truth, the Bucks stud didn’t really catch Gobert as cleanly as he would have wanted, with the Jazz man coming in a bit late and from an odd angle on his defensive challenge on Giannis. Nonetheless, this is the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year winner here, who averaged 2.3 blocks per season last year, so we just had to include this on the list — even just as an honorable mention.
Gobert and Giannis were going back and forth against each other throughout this contest. At one point, Gobert even blocked Antetokounmpo twice on a single play. The latter would eventually get the last laugh by putting the former on a memorable poster.
3. vs. Jon Leuer (Jan 1, 2019)
Giannis opened the new year with his own version of fireworks. Unfortunately for Detroit Pistons big man Jon Leuer — who happens to be a former teammate of Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee — he was on the wrong end of the display. Their friendship was set aside on this particular play, with Giannis absolutely putting Leuer in a body bag after this disrespectful slam.
What makes this poster so amazing is the fact that Leuer went all in in trying to stop Antetokounmpo’s dunk. The Pistons center had a good couple of steps before elevating to try and block Giannis. The two met each other at the very top, and sadly for him, things did not end well for Leuer.
2. vs. Kosta Koufos (Nov 4, 2018)
Sacramento Kings big man Kosta Koufos was another one of Antetokounmpo’s victims last season. Giannis got him good, and for an added bonus, the referee even decided to call a foul on Koufos, turning this into an unforgettable and-1 poster slam.
Other than the fact that this is definitely going to be one of Koufos’ worst memories in his career, there’s not much more to be said about this play. Some things are just better seen than said.
1. vs. Blake Griffin (Dec 5, 2018)
At the number one spot we have Antetokounmpo’s astounding dunk against no less than one of the greatest dunkers this sport has ever seen in Blake Griffin. Now what makes this one memorable is not only because it was against a former NBA Dunk Contest champion, but mainly because this was an absolute exhibition of Gianis’ pure brute strength.
Antetokounmpo backed down Blake on the post, took him all the way to the rim. Giannis was so powerful that he didn’t even allow Griffin to elevate to try and prevent him from flushing it home. Oh, and to add insult to injury, Blake was even called for a foul on the play. Pure disrespect here.
In his early years, what made people take notice of Antetokounmpo was his freakish combination of size and athleticism. Now entering his seventh season in the league, these dominant qualities are still on full display, and more than a few might even say that he has taken them to a whole new level.
However, what makes Giannis very special is the fact that he has evolved into an all-around player that has been able to carry his team to championship contention. The funny thing about this is that he is just 24, and many believe that he has not even reached his peak.
Antetokounmpo will surely continue to dominate the league for years to come, and it would not be surprising at all if he ends up being one of the best players this game has ever seen. One or two more MVP trophies might be forthcoming, and even an NBA title is a very conceivable goal for this once-in-a-generation talent.
What we are certain of, however, is that along the way, we should have more than a few more poster dunks from Giannis. This time next year, our job of curating his top highlight reel plays will probably be a much more difficult task.