This past Saturday, the NBA enthusiasts and fans alike experienced probably one of the most bizarre moments of the 2018-19 NBA season thus far. On December 1, 2018, the Milwaukee Bucks headed to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks.
Early in the first quarter of this head-to-head matchup, a sprinting Mario Hezonja finished a fastbreak with an emphatic dunk over a trailing Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo was not able to keep his balance, fell to the floor, only to have Hezonja step over him a la Allen Iverson to a young Tyronn Lue in Game one of the 2001 NBA Finals. Hezonja step-over move was met with a thunderous roar from the crowd and had the Garden buzzing for the remainder of the game.
Ultimately, Giannis and the Bucks lost in overtime to the New York Knicks, 136-134. But, individually, Antetokounmpo put up one of those impressive Madison Square Garden performances that legendary NBA alumni deem as a must in the historic venue. Antetokounmpo finished the game with a total of 33 points on 10-17 shooting from the field, snatched 19 rebounds, dished seven assists, and even cleaned up on the defensive side of the ball coming up with three steals and two blocks.
Following the Bucks loss to the Knicks, Giannis had some choice words for the former overall fifth pick of the 2015 NBA Draft.
Giannis Threatens to ‘Punch [Mario Hezonja] in the Nuts’ Next Time He Tries To Step Over Him
In Giannis’ post-game interview this past Saturday, he didn’t appear to be satisfied with his in individual accomplishments and seemed agitated that he would be leaving New York without a win for his Bucks team. When Giannis was asked whether he was bothered by Hezonja’s dunk and A.I. impression, the Nigerian Freak replied,
“Oh, yeah. I’m going to punch him in his nuts next time.”
Then when asked if he was serious, Giannis replied,
Short and sweet. Very convincing and somewhat disturbing. However, Mario Hezonja had some choice words of his own in response to Antetokounmpo’s strange and child-bearing endangering threats.
Mario Hezonja Responds & Doesn’t Back Down from Giannis Antetokounmpo
According to New York Knicks columnist, Steve Popper of Newsday, Hezonja had a spicy response to Giannis in regards to his thunderous dunk over one of the highest candidates for this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player honors. Popper took to Twitter to post Hezonja’s comment stating,
“Honestly, if you’re afraid, this is not for you. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but if you feel fear this is not the place for you, New York is not a place for you and this team is not a place for you.”
Well, we all know now that Mario Hezonja definitely isn’t chump and won’t back down when an opportunity to dunk all over an NBA superstar presents itself.
Giannis Apologizes for his ‘Nut Punching’ Comment… Sort of
This afternoon, during a Milwaukee Bucks practice, Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke with media and attempted to apologize for his comments about punching Hezonja in his genitals stating,
“He definitely knew what I said. I meant it. I’m a person who doesn’t take words back. I wasn’t mad or frustrated after the game, it was more of a pride thing. I know I have to choose better words to send my message better. Sometimes it’s tough because I’m not from here, I’m from overseas. But I got to do a better job because I’m a role model for a lot of kids.”
Well, at least Giannis is acknowledging that he has to be responsible with choice of words when speaking to the press/media or in public in general for the sake of the children he’s become a role model for. But, with Giannis doubling down on what he said, we have a feeling that this budding beef between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mario Hezonja is nowhere near over.
The next time the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks will be facing off is on Christmas day this year. Then the two will see each other again in just two days, December 27th to complete back-to-back games. We don’t know about y’all but this particular matchup could possibly turn into a must-see this holiday season if Antetokounmpo and Hezonja continue to take shots at each other.