It’s August and the NBA is in vacation mode, but that doesn’t mean Giannis Antetokounmpo has stopped destroying worlds. Greece played a game against Spain in preparation for EuroBasket next month, and as he’ll do on occasion, Giannis was magnificent, scoring 31 points in just 20 minutes in an 86-70 victory.
This was supposed to be a simple tune-up game for both teams to get some live reps, but Yankuba Sima, a big man for Spain, made a grave mistake: He tried to jump with Giannis, who had a full head of steam and the chance to go grab a perfectly placed lob.
Hopefully this is a warning for everyone competing in EuroBasket (and, for that matter, in the NBA to never challenge Giannis at the rim. Giannis has never won an international competition with Greece and will certainly be on a mission to add that to his resume. EuroBasket 2022, which begins on Sept. 1, will feature three of the NBA’s best players: Giannis, Luka Doncic and Slovenia, and Nikola Jokic’s Serbia. Greece, Slovenia, and Serbia were all placed in different groups, so a potential matchup between any of these three MVP-caliber players will have to occur in the knockout stage. Luka and Slovenia won the most recent EuroBasket, which happened in 2017 right before he entered the NBA.