Mario Hezonja hasn’t quite lived up to the potential that made him the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. But he certainly plays with a level of confidence that would lead you to believe that he has.
That bravado was on display early in the Knicks‘ contest against the Bucks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening. Just a few minutes into the game, Hezonja got out on the fastbreak and threw down a nice jam ahead of a quickly approaching Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It wasn’t exactly a poster, since Giannis was closing in from behind, but it was still impressive. And Hezonja was so impressed with himself that he decided to pull off one of the cockiest moves in recent memory. With the Greek Freak on the ground after trying to block the dunk, Hezonja stepped over him a la Allen Iverson in the 2001 Finals.
Which, look, it’s one thing to do that if you’re Allen Iverson, one of the greatest players of your generation. It’s another thing if you’re Mario Hezonja, and the player you’re stepping over is arguably top-five in the league. It was unbelievable and kind of awesome, but also completely ridiculous at the same time.
And understandably, Giannis was not pleased — though it certainly didn’t help that the Bucks lost a wild game in overtime. Asked about the incident, Antetokounmpo threatened to hit Hezonja where it hurts the most the next time they play, which just happens to be on Christmas Day.
While that certainly sounds like a joke, it doesn’t appear that Giannis is at all joking when you watch the video. It’s hard to fault Giannis for feeling this way. Hezonja’s move was pretty disrespectful, especially considering the status of the two players.
Even though fans will have to wait for the next showdown between Antetokounmpo and Hezonja, the Bucks will be back at it on Wednesday night when they face the Detroit Pistons in a Central Division showdown (8 p.m. ET — watch on Fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension).