Michael Jordan was 28 when he broke through for his first of six championships in a 1991 NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 24, is on a quest to get to his first four years younger with the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
In Game 4’s series-clinching win against the Pistons Monday, he did his best to be like Mike, putting a move on Detroit defenders that’s familiar to anyone who was paying attention to the beginning of Jordan’s championship run with the Chicago Bulls.
Giannis’ best MJ impression
With around two minutes left in the second quarter Monday, Sterling Brown was setting up the Bucks offense and found a trailing Antetokounmpo as he drove to the free throw line.
Antetokounmpo took the pass from Brown and attacked the paint with what looked like another trademark Giannis dunk. But in mid-air, he thought better of the dunk attempt and dropped the ball below the rim, where he scooped it in for a layup past a helpless Andre Drummond, who had no answer for the Greek Freak’s hang time.
It was a solid impersonation of one of Jordan’s most famous moments when he switched up a dunk attempt during those NBA Finals against the Lakers in a moment that officially announced his presence on the championship stage.
While Antetokounmpo remains multiple steps from the biggest of NBA stages, he’s looking to make his mark on the NBA playoffs for the first time as a league-MVP favorite.
Doing anything like Jordan is a step in the right direction.
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