Giannis Antetokounmpo is a super human and/or a Greek God. He has physical traits that are so spectacular, ESPN had a whole article about the measurements of his body and we at Brew Hoop have debated if he could fly. On Tuesday in the Mecca (Madison Square Garden not Milwaukee) of basketball, Giannis joined Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in having multiple moments of greatness at the Garden. Last year, he hit a buzzer beater to win the game and this year, he hurdled a player on an alley-oop slam. With that dunk, its been debated if that was Giannis’ best dunk. What started as a discussion on Locked On Bucks, special shoutout to ESPN Milwaukee and former Brew Hoop Alum Eric Nehm who did an amazing job on ranking Giannis’ dunks, and continued on Twitter, there was a common consensus: we don’t know what Giannis’ best dunk is. With award season in full swing, I’m talking Golden Globes/Grammy/Oscars, the committee of one sat down, opened a Lakefront Riverwest Stein, and went through the nominees. So with that, I welcome you to the first ever Giannis Awards*!
*Author note: We are not sure if these awards will continue, but let’s assume for the best.
The categories are the following:
- Most Jaw Dropping Dunk
- Most Disrespectful Dunk
- Most Vicious Dunk
- Most Viral Dunk
- Best Poster Dunk
- Best Breakout Dunk
- Best Visual Dunk
- Best New Dunk
Most Jaw Dropping Dunk: TIE Free Throw line against the Indiana Pacers/Double Clutch against the Miami Heat
For this one we went with a tie because both were dunks I don’t think I have seen anybody do in a live game. Giannis has a very, very long wingspan, with equally lengthy legs. Giannis can pretty much take 1-2 dribbles from halfcourt to the hoop. However, he has TWICE dunked from the free throw line; plenty of other players have successfully done this, none have done it during a game like Giannis has last season against the Indiana Pacers. It still amazes me that he can take one dribble from halfcourt and dunk the ball, how is that possible? The double clutch against Miami was still taken from a pretty far distance and at first you’re thinking, well just a simple two-hand dunk from Giannis. Well, because Giannis is a much better athlete than 99% of the world, he somehow pulls off an incredibly difficult double clutch dunk. Giannis just glides in the air and the hang time he has made it look so easy that I couldn’t deprive this dunk of an award. I honestly wonder how good Giannis would be at the long and triple jump?
Honorable mention: Alley-Oop hurdle over Tim Hardaway Jr
Breakout Dunk: The Windmill Dunk
Some superstar players have themselves a signature dunk. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would just bowl you over. Russell Westbrook has a two hand smash where he is trying to destroy the rim, while LeBron has the tomahawk. When I think of Giannis, I would lean towards his windmill dunk, it was the first in-game dunk where Giannis would do something special. I’ve also noticed something; when Giannis does his windmill, he is always leaning back in a way that looks unnatural but also so very Giannis-esque at the same time. The big breakout is that windmill dunk he did in the 2017 All-Star game early in the first quarter which was a sign that Giannis was going to dunk the whole night and also produced this beautiful photo. I’m still bitter they couldn’t pronounce his name correctly though, this is an All-Star put some RESPECK ON HIS NAME.
Honorable Mention: Free-Throw dunk
Best Poster: TIE Serge Ibaka March 2016/Serge Ibaka 2017 playoffs
Initially I had the Steph Curry All-Star game dunk as the winner but then I realized a few things. One it was the All-Star game so there was no defense and little effort from everyone not named Giannis in that game which penalized the dunk. Two, the reactions were really funnier than the actual dunk itself so I couldn’t in good faith put it as the best poster. When people do talk about Giannis’ dunk on Serge Ibaka however, I have to sit and ask the question “Which one are we talking about?” Both Ibaka posters result in Serge trying to block the shot or play really good defense. The OKC one Giannis just steps right past Westbrook and Ibaka, who tries to block it, but gets dunked on instead. The playoff one, Giannis doesn’t need to glide past someone, all he needs to do is use his strength and simply treat Ibaka like some nobody. Poor Serge, he is just out here trying to play defense and had the misfortune of being in Giannis’ way.
Honorable Mention: Chris Bosh 2014-2015 season, Steph Curry 2017 All-Star, Domantas Sabonis January 2017, Aron Baynes Alley-Oop October 2017
Most Vicious: Almost Gobert Poster 2017
When I thought of vicious dunks, I immediately think of Westbrook going full on no mercy to the hoop. There is just so much force and power that it makes you wonder, “who hurt you Russ?” I had a couple ideas of what who the winner could be but in the end, it was pretty simple. The absolute number 1 winner would have been the near murder of Aron Baynes at the Mecca had he completed the dunk. Sadly for both this award and life in general, it didn’t go in so it couldn’t be the winner. However, we did have a powerful one at the end of the Utah Jazz game a few months ago. With the game already salted away and in the final minute, it would make sense for Giannis to just let the clock run out. But why do that when you can just flex on your opponent and add another highlight to your already growing collection? This dunk won most vicious because Giannis decided to add salt to the wound, plus it had that moment of force and power and the rim was shaking. I think Jim Paschke had said it best when he simply said “Oh my goodness.”
Honorable Mention: The near Aron Baynes demolition
- Most Jaw Dropping: Free-Throw Dunk/Double Clutch
- Most Disrespectful: TBD
- Most Vicious: Near poster of Rudy Gobert
- Most Viral: TBD
- Best Poster: Serge Ibaka
- Breakout Dunk: The windmill
- Best Visual:TBD
- Best New Dunk: TBD
So that is Part 1 of our Giannis Dunk awards as you can tell, Giannis has a lot of dunks. Do you agree with the winners? What categories would you add? Who will win our final categories? Leave a comment below and we will see you soon for Part 2.