Most karmically rewarded

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo helped clinch the first title for the Milwaukee Bucks in 50 years at the end of July, but the way he’s spent the last month has only cemented his status as one of the most likable athletes in the world. He’s celebrated by taking every opportunity he can to share the achievement with the entire city of Milwaukee, including buying a minority stake in the Milwaukee Brewers and showing up in the ring for an AEW Rampage event. He’s one of the best basketball players in the world, living his best life. How can you not root for that?
- Ian Levy
Creative Editorial Director

What emotion defined this fandom this year?

Relief...and then joy. Just before the calendar turned to 2021, Giannis agreed to a five-year, $228 million extension to stay in Milwaukee. Just a few months later, the Bucks found themselves with their backs to a very familiar wall again, down 0-2 to the Brooklyn Nets. They rose to the occasion and never stopped pushing, finally shedding the accumulated pressure of past disappointments and the shadow of an eventual Giannis departure with the team's first championship in 50 years.

Best fan moment of the year

It has to be Giannis, after the final buzzer sounded, overcome with emotion, falling to the floor and then parking himself in a courtside seat to take it all in as the tears flowed.