It's been weeks since Giannis Antetokounmpo won the honor of the NBA's Most Valuable Player of 2018-19, but while he celebrated with the sporting universe and the world in late June, he came back to Milwaukee to celebrate with the city he loves on Sunday at the Fiserv Forum plaza. And the city came out to join him, as thousands of Bucks fans were in midseason form, cheering and chanting and buying plenty of the Greek Freak's slick new shoes.
Sunday's celebration officially marked the end of looking back at the past season – and looking ahead to a new year full of promise and high expectations. (They current sit at the top of ESPN's Power Rankings, with 9-2 odds of winning the title.) But let's cheer last season one more time with a final look back at Giannis Antetokounmpo Day in Milwaukee.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo Day
We all knew it was Giannis Day on Sunday, but the County made it official with this decree. Hopefully it ages better than Paul George Day in Oklahoma City – though considering Giannis' comments to ESPN over the weekend, it's looking pretty positive!
2. A Grammy next?
View this post on Instagram
Prior to taking the stage in the Fiserv Forum plaza, Giannis gave a private ukelele performance of "Smoke on the Water" for his brother – and new Bucks teammate – Thanasis Antetokounmpo and his Instagram story. FREE BIIIIRD!
3. Signature shoes
Of course Giannis wore his signature Nike shoes, the Air Zoom Freak 1, to his Milwaukee MVP party. But these aren't just the regular sneakers; these are the Alphabet Soup Freak 1s, named after an early moniker he received thanks to his long last name and designed with a jumble of letters as a playful nod to people's troubles. The original shoe comes complete with a blue swoosh, in honor of his Greek roots, but Sunday he went with red.
There were some smirks and grumbles about the Freak 1's when they first leaked to the public, but now that we've seen them in action, modified and colorfully customized, these shoes are kind of awesome. Not many shoes can look cool covered in Alpha-Bits.
4. That's a brave kid
It may be the offseason, but Giannis is not on vacation ... which was terrible news for this eager fan who ended up on the wrong end of a Greek Freak swatting. But honestly, it would be a true honor getting brutally blocked by Giannis. That's an MVP win for us normies.
5. And that's a lucky kid
We nominate that the Bucks run a play like this with Eric Bledsoe next season. Are you allowed to carry a teammate to a dunk? We should find this out. Adorable and effective.
6. A MVP-worthy painting
Giannis hasn't just inspired some fabulous fandom and basically an entire new arena with a hopping Downtown district in tow. He's also helped inspire some great art, whether on the walls of Milwaukee buildings or this mini-mural at Sunday's pep rally. Hopefully he can bring some gold, shiny, trophy-shaped art to town next in one of these upcoming seasons.
7. Special delivery
Win MVP. Rejuvenate an entire city's love for basketball. Teach airplane safety and etiquette. Take a team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Dunk over ... everyone. Briefly take up a shift as a Foot Locker employee during the festivities. Is there nothing The Greek Freak can't do?!
8. No more MVP ... for now
We hope you made it to yesterday's festivities and got all your MVP chants out of your system, because according to Giannis, he doesn't want to be called that anymore in the order to help him stay motivated and refuse to accept his current ceiling. So no more MVP ... at least until next year when he wins it again. And hopefully some other hardware along the way.
9. Not finished yet
View this post on Instagram
Every season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has reached a new level in his game and in the NBA's eyes. Once a scrawny rookie, he evolved into a growing star, then a fully unstoppable unicorn threatening to take over the game and now he's its king, winning MVP and pulling a once-scuffling small-market franchise two wins away from the NBA Finals. And judging from his attitude Sunday, he's nowhere near content. The Bucks will return next year in a newly shaped and more balanced league as one of the easy championship favorites – and Giannis looks ready to live up to that and more. Here's to another party next year – preferably a full-on parade.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.