Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his second consecutive NBA MVP award, the league announced Friday.

Antetokounmpo joins Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as back-to-back MVPs.

Antetokounmpo received 85 of 101 first-place votes and earned 962 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote.

James received the other 16 first-place votes and finished in second place with 753 points. Houston Rockets guard James Harden (367 points) finished third, followed by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (200 points) and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (168 points).

Antetokounmpo joins Jordan (1987-88 season) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94 season) as the only players to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season.

Standing in front of thousands of fans at a downtown rally in Milwaukee last July, the Bucks superstar politely asked them for a favor.

“Please, after this day don’t call me MVP until I win it again next year,” he asked.

Although Milwaukee fell short of a title, he returned to average 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season.

Antetokounmpo has a decision to make in the offseason about signing an extension with Milwaukee or entering the 2020-21 season in the final year of his contract, making him eligible for free agency in 2021.

During a three-hour lunch meeting last week in Milwaukee, Bucks co-owner and governor Marc Lasry made it clear to Antetokounmpo that the franchise is willing to spend into the luxury tax to deliver him a championship supporting cast, sources told ESPN.

Despite finishing with the best record during the regular season, Milwaukee failed to reach the Finals after losing in five games to the Miami Heat during the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Antetokounmpo posted a 31.9 player efficiency rating — the highest in a season in NBA history, per ESPN Stats & Information. He led the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at the rim (minimum: 100 FGA defended) and field goal percentage allowed as the closest defender (min.: 500 FGA defended), according to Second Spectrum.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to learn from everything that goes on in your life and in your career,” Antetokounmpo said following the season-ending Game 5 loss, which he missed with an ankle sprain. “Hopefully we can learn from this and get better as a team and come back and hopefully we can build a culture in Milwaukee for many years, [and] we can come out here and compete every single year for a championship.”


Choose your Reaction!
Leave a Comment