For the second straight year, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will be starting in the NBA All-Star game, and hopefully for the second straight year Milwaukee fans will get to witness him put another All-Star on a poster.
Let us not forget the beautiful sight of the Greek Freak throwing down a thunderous dunk on Warriors guard Stephen Curry in last year’s game.
That dunk had everything. The heartwarming feeling of watching a Bucks player in an All-Star Game for the first time since Michael Redd in 2004; the highlight-reel material of Giannis literally reaching over the top of Curry and slamming the put-back home; and some of the best reactions of the night, from the TNT announcers, the crowd, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry losing his mind, Clippers forward DeAndre Jordan’s infamous "I just witnessed a car crash" look and many more.
The two 2018 All-Star teams were revealed Thursday night, with Antetokounmpo being drafted by Team Stephen, no doubt a precautionary move by Curry to avoid being obliterated again. But Team LeBron still provides plenty of dudes for Giannis to mercilessly dunk on, or force to lie down in front of him.
So, who would look best on this year’s Giannis Antetokounmpo All-Star poster?
1. LeBron James, Cavaliers
Besides being the most obvious choice, jamming on James would send the loudest message. A dunk on top of the King followed by one of those Giannis stink faces would go down in Bucks lore. It won’t be easy, though. LeBron is one of the smartest basketball players the game has ever seen. There’s a very, very small chance we witness LeBron directly challenge a Giannis attempt at the rim – and rightfully so.
If it were to happen, I’d expect an Antetokounmpo slam to look similar to the one on Curry last year. And if that’s any indication of the joy a dunk over LeBron’s back would bring, then please bring it on.
2. Kevin Durant, Warriors
Do you really need a reason for wanting to see Giannis dunk on Durant? KD’s move to Golden State still hasn’t settled well for many, he uses multiple burner Twitter accounts for whatever reason, he leads the league in ejections (with four), and just rubs many fans the wrong way. But in case you were looking for another reason, here’s a fun one you might have missed.
Last year, when Antetokounmpo dunked on Curry, Durant immediately took the following inbounds pass down the court, drove right at Giannis, made a layup, yelled "And one!" with some resentment behind it (he didn’t get the call) and stared the Greek Freak down. That didn’t sit well with Giannis. When Durant brought the ball back down the court the next possession, Giannis yanked his shorts up ready to play Game 7 NBA Finals defense, only to watch Durant jack up and brick a three. A small, yet entertaining interaction that makes the prospect of Antetokounmpo dunking on Durant even more exciting.
3. Kyrie Irving, Celtics
For those who may not know, the Boston guard has expressed some interesting opinions. Irving has conveyed several times his belief that the earth is flat, having gotten that theory off an Instagram post, and his new signature shoe features an "all seeing eye." If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and just google "Kyrie Irving quotes."
While I personally find this new Kyrie hilarious, I’m aware 95 percent of people do not. The pleasure a Giannis dunk on Kyrie would bring to those individuals is too great to ignore.
4. Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks
Let me preface this choice by saying I actually like Porzingis and his game a lot. The argument to be made here is not about his personality, like Durant or Irving, but to settle a debate. That debate is a common one in the NBA today: Who is the league’s best true unicorn? In other words, a player whose talent, size, game and potential are extremely rare, virtually unprecedented.
Some people outside of Milwaukee think Kristaps is the unicorn in today’s NBA. Bucks fans want to see Giannis show Kristaps who the real unicorn is.
5. John Wall, Wizards
This one may come as a surprise, but let me explain. Washington likes to talk a lot. Wall and teammate Bradley Beal always seem to find themselves in a war of words with other players, getting in the middle of scuffles (it happened this season against Milwaukee) or complaining to the officials about calls.
In his latest feud, Wall called diminutive Mavericks guard J.J. Barea a "midget," to which Barea responded, "I don’t like him at all now. But I don’t think his teammates like him either. So it’s nothing new for him." If Antetokounmpo put a little more authority behind a dunk on Wall, I’m sure many would be delighted.
Who do you want to see Giannis posterize in the All-Star Game? Let us know in the comments.
Jacob Ahlmann is a freelancer who has written about the NBA for Hoops Habit, Dairyland Express and Behind the Buck Pass. He is an OnMilwaukee contributor.