He’s not going to make it.
That’s probably what you’d say if you were to look at this screenshot of Giannis Antetokounmpo and not know the truth. Maybe you’d think he’s too low to the ground, or too far away from the rim. Maybe you’d think he’s just grabbing a rebound.
But no, you’ve just caught the Milwaukee Bucks point guard in medias res. He’s already taken an outlet pass from Tony Snell and started the fast break. He’s seen the open floor in front of him and zeroed in on the rim. He’s stopped dribbling, taken enormous steps,
He’s readjusted in midair and double pumped past Miami Heat guard Rodney McGruder. All that’s left is the finish.
There are moments in basketball that seem bigger than the game itself. Individual feats of athleticism that stay with you after possessions are exchanged and the score grows. Perhaps Giannis got in an extra step on the launch pad, but you allow superhuman athletes to bend the rules of the game if the result is a much greater good. Such is the case here.
Antetokounmpo will overcome fans unable to correctly spell his name. He will make the All-Star game and shine because everyone knows exactly who No. 34 is for the Bucks these days. And they know to expect magic when he takes flight.
And sometimes, he can appear to overcome gravity itself.