The Bucks beat the Warriors on Saturday night to stop all the win streaks and shock the basketball world. And that’s great, but it was really just an undercard to the main event.
If you were in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for Milwaukee’s humongous victory over Golden State – and a sellout crowd of 18,717 lucky persons were there – then you probably already saw the thing that was pretty much everything. It was star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo imitating Justin Bieber, and it’s worth seeing over and over and over and over again.
During a second-half stoppage, a video was displayed on the arena Jumbotron that featured Antetokounmpo, the Greek-born 21-year-old whose ongoing embrace of all American culture has been the most wonderfully delightful subplot of his three-year NBA career, doing an unabashedly amazing rendition of Bieber’s "What Do You Mean?" Antetokounmpo was the second player during Saturday’s game to be shown participating in the Bucks’ "Lip-Sync Battle," the team’s version of the popular "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" bit.
The first video starred guard Khris Middleton wearing an afro and singing some song that was fine and whatever; for a relatively stiff basketball player, he was OK.
But then Antetokounmpo donned gold chains and sunglasses, and absolutely slayed his performance, out-Biebering the Biebs in terms of melodramatic affectation, hyper-sensual facial expressions and rhythmic gyrations, all of which have made him a fixture in the Bucks’ taped, in-game dance segments this season.
The Greek Freak may not have known all the words, but who cares? He took off the sunglasses and one of the chains, did a Bieber bow at the end and showed why he's one of the most charismatic and lovable players in the NBA.
Let’s stop writing about Giannis imitating Bieber now and just watch Giannis imitating Bieber forever. You’re welcome.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.