Congratulations to Mario Hezonja on joining an elite club full of NBA Hall of Famers like Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen.
On Saturday, the former 5th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft scored two points in the Knicks victory over the Bucks. TWO POINTS! Obviously, it wasn’t the two points that made him a trending topic on Twitter, it was him treating the Greek Freak like Ty Lue by stepping over him after a dunk that gave Super Mario his only bucket of the game. As expected, Giannis didn’t appreciate the AI impersonation that moved Mario to the top of Giannis’ shit list.
“I’m going to punch him in the nuts next time.” Said Giannis with a dead-serious expression after the game.
"I'm going to punch him next time."
I love that Giannis said this with a dead serious look on his face and then said "yeah" when the reporter replied, "really?"
— David Astramskas (@redapples) December 2, 2018
Here’s what Mario had to say about the best highlight of his NBA career (the last highlight I can think of is him knocking down a game-winning three during a 2015 Summer League game).
“Honestly, if you’re afraid, this is not for you. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but if you feel fear this is not the place for you, New York is not a place for you and this team is not a place for you.”
I agree! And New Yorkers should definitely remember the first great disrespectful step over in NBA history.
(1994) PIPPEN OVER EWING
What makes Pippen’s steps over Patrick Ewing in Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals so memorable is because the dunk is arguably one of the top three posters of all-time — even though Pippen said it was one of his “easiest.”
“That was probably the easiest dunk I ever did,” Pippen jokingly said during an amusing conversation about the historic moment. “I think I must have crossed Derek Harper over at half court, because when I see the picture of it, he’s back wondering what happened. All I remember is catching the ball and I don’t know how Patrick even got down there. It was such a weird play.”
What I remember in the 90s is how hard it was to find this dunk on video and how happy I was when I opened a pack of 1994/95 Upper Deck SE cards and pulled a Pippen card that used a great photo of Derek Harper sitting on the ground and watching his teammate get dunked on, sent to the ground and then walked over. I also pulled a gold Chris Webber rookie card worth a couple hundred dollars then and a Redbox rental now.
Unlike Giannis, Ewing didn’t wait for a “next time” to give Pippen a shove to the nuts…BUT, there was a next time!
Two years after the first incident, Pippen stepped over the head of Ewing during a loose ball scramble. You might initially think it wasn’t intentional but once you see the smile on Pippen’s face as he walked back to the bench you will know it was 100% intentional.
If Pippen stepping over Ewing twice wasn’t great enough, his son, Scotty Pippen Jr, stepped over a defender two decades later.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 4, 2018
(2001) IVERSON OVER LUE
This is and will probably always be the most famous step over of all time. Iverson’s step over the legs of Ty Lue from Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals is so iconic, you can even catch NFL players like Tyler Lockett reenacting it after a touchdown.
Lue has always been a good sport about the play and likes to remind fans on the anniversary of it he won a championship ring (the first of two as a player) a few days later. He’s such a good sport about it, he was even willing to take a photo with a fan wearing a shirt of the play. Considering most young players in the NBA are so paranoid about ending up in a viral clip and/or a meme, it’s unlikely you would be able to convince one of them to take a selfie with you if you were wearing a short showing their most embarrassing moment. I guess I shouldn’t single out the young players because I’m pretty sure Kevin Durant would curse me out if I asked for a photo while wearing a shirt of him getting yelled at by Draymond.
??? This kid asked Allen Iverson to step over him like he did Ty Lue!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 8, 2018
(2016) LEBRON OVER DRAYMOND
Speaking of Draymond, Warriors fans will never forget the time he got pissed at LeBron James for stepping over him during Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals and responded with a shot to the nuts and some words that offended the King.
“Some of the words that came out of his mouth was a little overboard,” James said after the game. “Being a guy with pride, a guy with three kids, things of that nature, some things just go overboard. That’s where he took it.”
The nut shot by Draymond earned him his fourth flagrant foul points of the season which meant a one-game suspension. The Cavs went on to win Game 5 to cut the Warriors lead to 3-2 and you know the rest of the story.
Here’s Steph Curry talking about the incident and referencing Iverson’s “cool moment” with Lue.
(2018) HONORABLE MENTION: RAWLE ALKINS
This dunk and step over didn’t happen in the NBA so it’s getting honorable mention. The dunker is former Ballislife All-American and current NBA rookie King Rawle Alkins. The posterized is USC guard Elijah Stewart and the quote of the night belongs to NBA No. 1 Draft Pick Deandre Ayton.
“He should go to jail for that.” Said Ayton about his teammate’s dunk. “There’s no way somebody should get away with that…I’ve never seen a dunk like that. That was some 2K animation type stuff.”
Here’s a better look at the step over…hop over.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) March 11, 2018