The sports world makes for a beautiful palette but individual images can get lost in the constant shuffle. Here are the most iconic sports photos from Getty Images this week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates winning the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 to win the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 20, 2021, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I’ve covered countless NBA games, playoffs, and Finals in my career, but this year’s Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks was special because of one particular player, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks. The “Greek Freak” completely dominated the Suns, even in the first two games, which the Bucks lost. His stats for Game six — 42 minutes played, 50 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots — were remarkable. Giannis is also a demonstrative player, a virtual “picture machine” as I like to call it. I knew he was the story of the game, so I just followed him closely throughout the second half and during the Bucks Championship celebration. There was no doubt he would be the MVP of the series. He reminds me of Michael Jordan and LeBron James in that he puts his team on his back and just wills them to win through his outstanding play.
— Jonathan Daniel
Sylvia Fowles of the United States grabs an offensive rebound against Ezi Magbegor and Katie Ebzery of the Australia Opals during an exhibition game at Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 16, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Australia defeated the United States 70-67. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The USA Basketball men’s and women’s national teams held practices and exhibition games in Las Vegas as they got ready for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Because of pandemic protocols, media was not allowed to be near players, so there was no access to the court, and that meant no chance to set up remote cameras on the baskets. The USA men’s game against Australia scheduled for later in the day had been canceled after two USA players were placed in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Washington Wizards and Mystics head team photographer Ned Dishman (who works for NBA photos) kindly set one of my cameras up next to his behind the glass on one of the backboards for me. I photographed the game from about halfway up in the stands with a long lens, using a cable to trigger the backboard camera remotely.
In the second half, Chelsea Gray of the U.S. put up a shot that hit the rim. Before Gray even released the ball, Sylvia Fowles, the two-time WNBA champion and Finals MVP from the Minnesota Lynx, who also holds the WNBA record for rebounds per game average, boxed out Australia’s Ezi Magbegor to secure the rebound in front of her and Katie Ebzery. Despite getting hit on the hand and head by Magbegor, Fowles went right back up and banked a left-handed shot in for a score. Because Gray’s shot bounced high off the rim, I held the trigger down for longer than usual on the remote to try to capture an image with all the players looking up at the ball (and my camera). This is one of the only images where all three players’ faces are visible. The ball covering just the top of Fowles’ head in the photo intensifies the determined look in her eyes just as she gets both hands on the rebound.
— Ethan Miller
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 54 DEWALT Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2021, in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
When I first started doing NASCAR, I would always see someone in the flag stand shooting this picture and I always wanted it to be me one day. For each race, only one person from the Getty Images team gets to do it, so it seemed forever out of reach until this year. With 10 laps to go, I got to go up to the flag stand and feel the cars race under me at well over 100 miles per hour. It definitely gets the heart rate up. In this photo, Christopher Bell does a burnout after winning the race. I shot it wide to show as much of the smoke and track as I could to really tell the story of where we were. Usually, once the driver is finished with the burnout, they get out of the car and celebrate, which I typically shoot with a longer lens to focus in on that emotion. It’s one of my favorite perspectives in NASCAR and I feel really lucky to be one of the photographers entrusted to shoot it.
— James Gilbert
Franklin Session of Killer 3’s goes up for a shot against Jeremy Pargo of 3’s Company during the second week of the BIG3 at the Orleans Arena on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
This game was during BIG3’s second week of competition. BIG3 is a 3-on-3, half-court basketball league of 12 teams of primarily former NBA and International basketball players co-founded by rapper/actor Ice Cube featuring a non-traditional set of rules they call Fireball3. I was photographing with a long lens from an overhead position and remotely firing this camera, which was mounted on a plate on the floor along the baseline. As Franklin Session drove to the basket, he used his left hand to counter the defense of Jeremy Pargo before banking in the shot with his right hand. Both players are at the apex of their jumps in this image, and their body positions, combined with the low, wide-angle view from the floor, makes them look higher and more dramatic than from another angle. The flashy uniform colors also make the players stand out, especially against the arena’s dark background.
— Ethan Miller
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns puts up a shot ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half of Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Footprint Center on July 17, 2021, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bucks defeated the Suns 123-119. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks goes up for a shot against Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns during the second half in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 20, 2021, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel /Getty Images)
Ariel Atkins of the United States knocks the ball away from Ify Ibekwe of Nigeria during an exhibition game at Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 18, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United Stated defeated Nigeria 93-62. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Willy Adames of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after catching Shogo Akiyama of the Cincinnati Reds stealing second base during a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 16, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Austin Hays of the Baltimore Orioles watches the ball after Pat Valaika and Ryan Mountcastle collided on a hit by Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning at Tropicana Field on July 21, 2021, in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
First baseman Chris Gittens of the New York Yankees makes the catch as Rougned Odor and Trey Amburgey converge on a ball off the bat of Bobby Dalbec of the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on July 18, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Edmundo Sosa of the St. Louis Cardinals is hit in the head by a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on July 22, 2021, in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox is doused with Gatorade after a game against the New York Yankees on July 23, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. He hit his 100th career home run. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates after his putt on the 18th hole as fans applaud during Day Four of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 18, 2021, in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates with the Claret Jug after winning The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 18, 2021, in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after a missed putt on the 14th green during Day One of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 15, 2021, in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 17, 2021, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 54 DEWALT Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2021, in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 18, 2021, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Cameron Waters drives the No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang during the Townsville SuperSprint which is part of the 2021 Supercars Championship, at Reid Park, on July 17, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Jozy Altidore of Toronto FC celebrates his goal during the second half of an MLS game against Orlando City SC at BMO Field on July 17, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Sofia Huerta of the OL Reign and Morgan Gautrat of the Chicago Red Stars battle for the ball in the air during a game between OL Reign and Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium on July 18, 2021, in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by DANIEL BARTEL/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Jimmy Medranda of Seattle Sounders goes flying while Bakaye Dibassy of Minnesota United applies pressure in the first half at Allianz Field on July 18, 2021, in St Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota United defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Walker Zimmerman and Gianluca Busio of the United States block out Cyle Larin of Canada to head the ball during a game between Canada and USMNT at Children’s Mercy Park on July 18, 2021, in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia and UAE-Team Emirates Yellow Leader Jersey & The Peloton in front of The Arc De Triomphe at Paris city during the 108th Tour de France 2021, Stage 21 a 108,4km stage from Chatou to Paris Champs-Élysées / @LeTour / #TDF2021 / on July 18, 2021, in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)