Giannis Antetokounmpo provided the highlight of the NBA Finals thus far with his towering block of Deandre Ayton late in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Game 4. The defensive play locked up the Milwaukee Bucks 109-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns and evened up the championship series at two games apiece.
After the game, Antetokounmpo’s block was dissected around the NBA world by fans and media members alike. Some put it in the same company as LeBron James’ unbelievable chase down stuff on Andre Iguldola in 2016 or Bam Adebayo’s arm-bending rejection of Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.
But Michael Wilbon put Antetokounmpo’s block above the rest. Although the Pardon The Interruption host gave credit to the others for the impact of their timely rejections, he felt confident that last night’s was the most athletic block he’d ever seen.
“I think it’s the greatest block I’ve ever seen. I think it is…” Wilbon explained on Thursday’s episode of PTI. “Listen, LeBron’s block had more impact because it directly led in that instance to the winning of a championship. There’s no argument there. But LeBron’s block from an artistic and athletic standpoint is nowhere close to Giannis blocking a seven-foot guy who can get his elbow on the rim…This is from the Bill Russell archives. This is much greater.”
"I think it's the greatest block I've ever seen… This is from the Bill Russell archives!"@RealMikeWilbon is ranking Giannis' block on Ayton ahead of LeBron on Iguodala, Bam on Tatum and others. pic.twitter.com/fTihZGekk1
— PTI (@PTI) July 15, 2021
Antetokounmpo’s block was nothing short of spectacular, given that very few players have the athletic ability or the wherewithal to go up and stuff a seven-footer like Ayton. The Bucks player began the defensive play by slowing down Suns star Devin Booker on a drive to the basket. Once the ball went up into the air for a lob, Giannis turned around and left the floor just in time to put his right hand firmly in the way of Ayton’s dunk attempt.
Whether it’s the greatest block of all-time is up for debate, but Antetokounmpo’s remarkable effort will rightfully get credit for keeping Milwaukee in the series. As both teams head back to Phoenix, the Bucks will have a chance to take a 3-2 lead after trailing 2-0 to start the Finals.
Game 5 between the Bucks and the Suns will take place on Saturday evening in Phoenix. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on ABC.