Mario Hezonja has never been one to be short of confidence. When asked in 2015 if he went to see Lionel Messi play during his stint at Barcelona, the Croatian replied, “Let Messi come to see me.” Three years later, that confidence has yet to fade.
In the first quarter against the Bucks, Hezonja stole a pass intended for Khris Middleton and headed down the court on a solo fast break. Basketball cyborg Giannis Antetokounmpo ran after the Knick to try and get a chase-down block, but only managed to swipe at nothing but air on the attempt. After the Greek Freak fell to the ground, Hezonja did his best Allen Iverson impression and stepped over his opponent’s legs.
It wasn’t quite at the level of what A.I. did—Giannis’s body is a bit too big to get away with a full-body step-over, and this isn’t the NBA Finals—but the intent and disrespect was still there. Plus, it takes some real other-worldly cojones to ignore a speeding Antetokounmpo during a dunk attempt AND step over him when he’s down.
Getting respect from New York sports fans is tough, but doing something like this to the player that was involved in the play where Kristaps Porzingis injured his knee might make things easier from here on out.