The Bucks and Knicks aren’t exactly traditional rivals, and given that they exist on polar opposites of the standings in the East, few would have expected them to have much in the way of tense moments.
However, that didn’t factor in the presence of Mario Hezonja on the Knicks. Hezonja’s career to this point has been disappointing, but he still shows flashes of the athleticism and potential that made him the fifth round pick by the Magic in 2015. Against the Bucks, he unleashed a big time transition dunk in the first quarter despite a chasedown block attempt by Giannis Antetokounmpo, and proceeded to step over Giannis, a la Allen Iverson on Ty Lue.
Suffice to say, Antetokounmpo was not pleased by that and after the game told reporters he’d punch Hezonja in the nuts if he did that again. On Monday, Giannis met with the media in Milwaukee and offered something of an apology for what he said, citing his status as a role model to many kids.
It was an apology for his words and not the sentiment, as he still insists he meant it and wasn’t backing down from that. Instead he’s just sorry it became a thing and that he has to try and find better ways to phrase things in the future.
As for Knicks coach David Fizdale, he’s not too worried about the whole incident, noting that it’s really nothing in the grand scheme of things.
The Knicks and Bucks meet again on Christmas Day in New York, so we’ll have to wait until then to see if Giannis can get any retribution on Hezonja, or if Hezonja can catch him again on a dunk.