As the fifth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, it is without question that Mario Hezonja hasn’t lived up to the potential that people once believed he had. Now he’s hardly more than just a role player for the Knicks, and hasn’t really found a home in the NBA thus far. At the age of 23, he’s still a young player. However, despite his lack of relevance in the NBA, Mario pulled off one of the most disrespectful moves in basketball on Saturday against the Bucks.
After getting a steal off of a bad pass from Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, Hezonja was on the fast-break with Giannis Antetokounmpo trailing close behind him. Then, as the Greek Freak tried to block him from behind, Hezonja made a strong dunk. It wasn’t a ‘posterizing’ dunk because Giannis was behind Hezonja instead of in front of him, but with Giannis falling to the ground, it was nonetheless a very impressive dunk.
Here’s where it got out of hand: Following the spectacular finish at the rim, Mario Hezonja stared Antetokounmpo down and then stepped over him.
This was a recreated moment from when Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers. But that was an MVP stepping over a bench player. This event was a bench player stepping over an MVP candidate, which is absolutely ridiculous. It’s understandable that at the age of 23, Mario has a lot of confidence. However, the move that he pulled off against Giannis on Saturday seemed pretty silly for the situation that he was in.
Undoubtedly, Giannis was upset about it, and here’s what he said following the game: ‘I’m going to punch him in the nuts next time’. Although he’s probably not going to do such a thing, it seems like there will be a lot of bad blood between the two players for a long time, if not their entire careers.
So, with all of this drama unfolding, the next match-up between the two players happens to be on Christmas Day where there is a huge NBA audience. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on that nationally broadcast television game.