Giannis Antetokounmpo captured the eyes of NBA legends, NFL stars and fans across the country Tuesday night as he carried the Bucks past the Suns, 105-98, for the franchise’s first NBA title since 1971.
He got the first player to tally 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a playoff game since Shaquille O’Neal in 2001, per ESPN Stats & Info. The forward ended the night with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
And, he’s just the seventh player to have a 50-point game in the Finals.
In the words of LeBron James, “Greek Freak is HOOPING!!!!!!!”
Throughout the series, Antetokounmpo scored 20 points in a quarter twice, and the last player to tally 20 points in a Finals quarter was Michael Jordan in 1993.
As green and blue streamers fell throughout Fiserv Forum, Antetokounmpo skipped down the sidelines, raising his arms in the air. As he placed the hat that read “Champions” on his head, he became overcome with emotions, crouching down to the floor before sitting in a chair and watching the madness around him.
“I’m a f—ing champion! Nobody can say s— to me!” Antetokounmpo later said on his Instagram live with his brother, Thanasis.
On July 16, 2014, he tweeted, “I’ll never leave the team and the city of Milwaukee till we build the team to a championship level team.” On June 24, 2019, Kobe Bryant tweeted at Antetokounmpo, saying, “My man…. M.V.P. Greatness. Next up: Championship. #MambaMentality”
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 25, 2019