Bucks Jrue-Giannis alley-oop stop-motion video goes viral
MILWAUKEE – Paying homage to the champions, a Seattle-based artist has gone viral, recreating the game that tipped the NBA Finals in favor of the Milwaukee Bucks: an alley from Jrue Holiday to Giannis Antetokounmpo at the end of Game 5. Rudy Willingham says it was a labor of love for him.
Willingham and his wife normally take a few weeks to create a stop motion masterpiece, but when he saw this play and the reaction from the Deer District fans, he knew they had to change their mind before the game. 6. Three sleepless nights later, her video forged a connection across the world.
Every NBA Finals has its time. For the Bucks, it happened in Game 5. The Phoenix Suns were fortunate enough to win late, but Holiday stole the ball, ending the game with an alley-oop to Giannis Antetokounmpo to seal the game. This sent Bucks fans into a frenzy and put Willingham to work.
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“It was such a crazy turn of events that, you know, I jumped out of my seat and knew right away it was going to be an iconic game in NBA history,” said Willingham.
Over the next 72 hours, Willingham and his wife worked to immortalize the “Valley-Oop” through art, breaking down the video frame by frame, printing it into frames, and finding backgrounds.
“Sometimes I was up until 3 or 4 in the morning,” Willingham said. “Sometimes she was up.”
The result is a stop-motion masterpiece. It has since been viewed nearly a million times on various social networks.
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“As an artist you just want to create things that connect with people, and when that happens it’s like the best thing in the world that you’ve done something that made all these people happy,” said said Willingham.
The Willinghams have done it before, commemorating greats like Michael Jordan, the late Kobe Bryant and more, but this time, even from Seattle, Willingham says it was easy to take inspiration from Giannis and the Bucks.
“I know his backstory,” Willingham said. “I know how special it is that he stayed in Milwaukee. I knew… I just think it’s like one of the coolest sports stories of the last 10 years.”