Giannis Antetokounmpo at Madison Square Garden: Knicks bring the best stats, highlights out of Bucks star

At this point of his 11-year career, Giannis Antetokounmpo has turned in countless unforgettable highlights. It just so happens that one of his first notable highlights came in the world’s most famous arena. 

As Antetokounmpo was ascending into superstardom during the 2017-18 season, he seemingly ascended into the rafters of Madison Square Garden to finish an alley-oop, completely clearing Tim Hardaway Jr., who stands at 6-5. Among the 20,000 stunned fans was tennis legend John McEnroe, who cameras immediately found to show his disbelief.

Nearly six years later, these types of highlights have become the norm for Antetokounmpo, who has firmly cemented himself as a superstar. Case in point: Antetokounmpo is set to take the floor on Christmas for the sixth consecutive year, a streak that began at Madison Square Garden in 2018. 

Madison Square Garden is called the world’s most famous arena for a reason. Just like the above example with McEnroe, the stars show out in the crowd and, as a response, the stars on the floor show out, too. Antetokounmpo is no exception.

Ahead of his second Christmas Day game at MSG, look back at Antetokounmpo’s best performances at the world’s most famous arena.

WATCH: Follow Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks all season long on Sling TV

Giannis Antetokounmpo at Madison Square Garden

The debut: Oct. 30, 2013

Almost poetically, Antetokounmpo began his NBA career at Madison Square Garden. Still over a month away from his 19th birthday, Antetokounmpo played just less than five minutes under the bright lights at MSG, going 1 of 2 from the free throw line for his first NBA points.

He has since scored 17,000-plus points and counting.

The game-winner: Jan. 4, 2017

The 2016-17 season marked the beginning of Antetokounmpo’s rise into stardom. Antetokounmpo was named Most Improved Player after a season in which he earned his first All-Star selection and sank his first-ever buzzer-beating game-winner.

Of course, that came at Madison Square Garden.

Down one with 8.6 seconds remaining, Antetokounmpo capped off a 27-point performance with a turnaround jumper that went through the net as time expired. Not a bad spot to hit one of the first big shots of your career.

The dunk: Feb. 6, 2018

When you think of Antetokounmpo at MSG, you likely think of his soaring finish over Hardaway. And while Antetokounmpo continues to turn in incredible highlights, clearing a 6-5 player’s head on an alley-oop finish is still one of the most unbelievable.

He also finished the game with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

The Christmas debut: Dec. 25, 2018

The only thing bigger than playing on Christmas Day is playing on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden. Fittingly, Antetokounmpo’s first time playing on the holiday came at the arena.

In his first taste of Christmas action, Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks as Milwaukee cruised to a 14-point win.

MORE: How Giannis Antetokounmpo set Bucks record, career-high vs. Pacers

The triple-double: Dec. 21, 2019

Months after being named league MVP for the first time in his career, Antetokounmpo was back in NYC with a different aura. In a convincing 21-point win, Antetokounmpo recorded his first Madison Square Garden triple-double with 22 points (on 8-of-10 shooting), 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Oh yeah, he only needed 26 minutes of playing time to do it.

The textbook dominance: Nov. 30, 2022

He would eventually foul out, but Antetokounmpo’s best scoring effort at Madison Square Garden came during the 2022-23 season. In 37 minutes of action, Antetokounmpo finished with 37 points (on 13-of-25 shooting) to go along with 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Nine years and one month after scoring just one point at MSG, Antetokounmpo was putting forth a performance that showed why many consider him to be the best player in the world.

Source : ESPN.com

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