How strong is Zion? This Strong.
If we’re lucky, last night’s Bucks-Pelicans game will have been the first matchup between two guys who will go at it for the next decade.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson are two of the most exciting players in the NBA. For Zion, it’s still about the potential of what he might be capable of, while we’ve already seen Giannis evolve from a freak to an MVP. Few players in the NBA possess such unique athletic gifts as those two, which is what made Tuesday night’s game so appealing. It was the first time we got to see these massive talents share the floor, and it did not disappoint.
Giannis generally got the best of the matchup, leading Milwaukee to a 120–108 victory with his 34-point, 17-rebound performance. He also smothered Zion with this impressive block in transition.
Zion struggled a bit, scoring 20 points on just 5-of-19 shooting, but he did show glimpses of what makes him such a must-watch prospect. In the fourth quarter, Giannis came down with a defensive rebound and Zion reached up to rip the ball right out of his hands.
Do you realize how hard that is to do? Giannis’s hands are big enough that they can nearly cover the entire ball. He had both of his hands wrapped firmly around the ball and Zion reached way above his head to snatch the ball out of Giannis’s grasp. Giannis thought there was no way he could have possibly done that without holding the ball and triggering a jump ball. He walked around with his mouth agape trying to get a ref to tell him how it wasn’t a toss-up.
Brook Lopez also had an amazing reaction.
Zion made a similar play in his lone NBA Summer League appearance, robbing Knicks forward Kevin Knox. But doing it against a player as good as Giannis is way more cool.
Bucks players were quite complimentary of Zion after the game. Khris Middleton called him “a beast.” Giannis was also impressed with what he saw.
“He’ll be a really good player for a lot of years to come,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “He’s out there helping the team; he’s competing as hard as possible. He’s just gotta stay healthy, and he’s gonna have a bright future.”
The Knicks are at it again
After yesterday’s news that Steve Mills is out as president of the Knicks, I’m feeling pretty good about what I wrote about James Dolan last week. Only an owner as incompetent as Dolan could think it’s a good idea to fire the guy in charge of your front office just two days before the trade deadline.
Here’s the crazy thing, though: Mills isn’t even really getting fired. He’s getting sent up the ladder to another high-powered job. Look at the second paragraph of the team’s press release.
But don’t worry, Dolan has this all figured out. He’s reportedly hoping to hire Raptors exec Masai Ujiri. You know, the undisputed best basketball ops guy in the NBA. Why he’d want to join a team as notoriously dysfunctional as the Knicks when things seem to be going just fine in Toronto is beyond me, but I’m not the guy with a billion dollars.
Dolan is also reportedly considering hiring a player agent to run his front office. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Knicks that his top choice works for the massive agency CAA. The oddly symbiotic relationship between the Knicks and CAA is how J.R. Smith’s brother, Chris, ended up getting paid $500,000 to play two minutes of NBA basketball.
I can’t wait to see how Dolan chooses to mess this up.
Who wants free stuff?
It’s been a little bit since I did a beer giveaway but we have another one today.
Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery just released a Nuggets-branded beer called “Mile High City Lager,” a 5.7% ABV copper lager. It just debuted last week and will be available until April at the Nuggets’ home arena and in bars, restaurants and stores throughout Colorado.
But you don’t have to be in Colorado to get your hands on a 15-pack of cans. We’re giving away a pack to three lucky winners so they can throw a Nuggets watch party (or root for their team against the Nuggets).
Here’s how to win:
- Go back to yesterday’s Hot Clicks
- Find the name of the school that handed the UConn women an historically bad home loss
- Send me an email (email@example.com) using the subject line Breck Giveaway and put the correct answer in the body
- The 25th, 50th and 100th persons (ages 21+) to email me following those instructions will win
The best of SI
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Around the sports world
The Rockets pulled off a massive four-team trade that landed them Robert Covington. … The one voter who did not put Derek Jeter on their Hall of Fame ballot elected to keep it private. … The deal to free Mets fans from the disastrous ownership of the Wilpons has reportedly fizzled. … This woman started writing about football 60 years ago, was published in 40 newspapers and wasn’t allowed to sit in the press box. … Dwight Howard says Kobe Bryant had agreed to help him at the dunk contest before he was killed.
And that’s why he’s in the dunk contest
The full All-Star Saturday fields
This takes skill
Having been cleared of all charges, Gritty is now menacing nuns
LeBron caught fire
And he’ll play with a guy named Beerrup!
Local lawyer’s Super Bowl ad
Guy contacts the International Space Station with a ham radio
A good song
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.