Giannis finally opens up on crown gesture that fans thought taunted LeBron and Lakers

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers may have won the NBA championship for the 2019-20 campaign, but on one night early that season, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks got to feel like kings.

They defeated L.A. on Dec. 19, 111-104, and Antetokounmpo made a “crown” gesture that some may have interpreted as him mocking LeBron James.

The Greek Freak explained that it was nothing of that sort.

At the time, although Antetokounmpo was the NBA’s reigning regular season MVP (and on his way to winning the award again that year), there was still a feeling among some that James was the game’s greatest player.

Back then, Antetokounmpo had yet to prove that he knew how to win come playoff time, as the Bucks had blown a 2-0 series lead to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.

After missing the playoffs in his maiden voyage with the Lakers that year, James had come out with a vengeance for the 2019-20 season, as he would end it averaging 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game.

His 10.2 assists-per-game average led the league that year, and it remains one of his more underrated accomplishments, as he did so at age 35 on a fast-breaking team to boot.

Once the season was resumed after its COVID-19 hiatus, James dominated the playoffs, putting up 27.6 points on 56.0 percent shooting, 10.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists a contest as he led the Lakers to the world title.

Meanwhile, despite finishing with the NBA’s best record, the Bucks got upended in the second round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat, four games to one.

It appeared as if perhaps Antetokounmpo didn’t have that “it” factor needed to lead his team to the promised land.

But the following year, he proved his critics wrong. He took Milwaukee to the NBA Finals, where it overcame a 2-0 lead to win it all.

His 50-point, 14-rebound, five-block performance in the Game 6 clincher will always stand as one of the greatest individual performances ever at that level.

Now, it is up to James to prove he is “King” again.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.