The NBA Finals went underway as Phoenix Suns chased their maiden title while Milwaukee Bucks aimed to end a five-decade drought. The Suns emerged victorious in Game 1 but one of the glaring moments of the game included a block from Giannis that eerily resembled the one LeBron James made five years ago.
The Suns started the contest off the right foot in front of their home crowd and were all but certain to take the lead heading into half-time.
With less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, the score read 57-49 in favour of the hosts, and they aimed to take the lead to double digits with a swift move to the basket.
Jae Crowder leading the assault passed the ball to Mikal Bridges on the right, who made a drive towards the basket for two points. The effort was thwarted by Giannis, who covered the entire length of the court to make the block.
The comparison to LeBron James’ iconic block was instantly made as it was executed in the exact same manner. James had made the block to thwart off Andre Iguodala’s effort in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
The block ensured that Cleveland Cavaliers completed a miraculous comeback after being 3-1 down and handed LeBron the third ring of his career. Watch both of the blocks right below:
On the other hand, Giannis’ block ended in a losing cause as the Suns comfortably negotiated Game 1 with a 118-105 win.
However, the block did eliminate any probing doubts over Giannis’ knee injury. The Greek International sat out the last two games of the Eastern Conference semi-finals and managed to make it to the finals with a last-minute call.
Giannis began the game on a bright note and even ended the half with a double-double. In the end, his 35-minute stint on the court ended with 20 points and 17 rebounds to his name.
“I thought I would be out for a year,” Antetokounmpo said of his injury.
“Obviously I had to do my best to get back. Listen to my medical staff. I did the right treatment. Took care of my body and supported my teammates, and now I’m back.“