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Does the NBA have a new king? Giannis Antetokounmpo crowns himself during Lakers game

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo appears to place an imaginary crown on his head after hitting his fifth three-pointer Thursday against the Lakers.
Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo appears to place an imaginary crown on his head after hitting his fifth three-pointer Thursday against the Lakers.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said earlier this week that he didn’t view this week’s game against the Lakers as him vs. LeBron James.

“It’s not about the matchup, me going against LeBron,” the reigning NBA MVP said Wednesday of facing James, who has won the award four times. “It’s about our team playing well, playing good basketball and going against the Lakers.”

But there was one moment during the Bucks’ 111-104 win over the Lakers on Thursday night that might have indicated otherwise.

With just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Antetokounmpo nailed his career-high fifth three-pointer of the game to give Milwaukee a 98-84 lead. He celebrated with two gestures. The first was a playful wink at the TNT cameras as he jogged past.

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The second seemed a bit more meaningful, as the Greek Freak formed what appeared to be an imaginary crown with his hands and placed it on his head.

He wouldn’t explain the action after the game, but then again, was an explanation really necessary? After all, he was sharing the court with a living legend widely known as King James.

Antetokounmpo finished the game with 34 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. James had 21 points, including three three-point shots, with 12 rebounds and 11 assists or his seventh triple-double this year.

After the game, James was asked about Antetokounmpo’s performance. He responded with a silent gesture of his own — a tip of an imaginary hat.

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