Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Milwaukee Bucks basketball star who’s just won another M.V.P. award. The N.B.A. announced the award on Friday, following another outstanding season by Antetokounmpo. Winning this award back-to-back, Antetokounmpo is on the same track as stars like Lebron James and Stephen Curry, who also received consecutive M.V.P. awards. Topping his number from last year, Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, while taking the Bucks down a record-breaking season. On top of the M.V.P. award, he is also the Defensive Player of The Year.
Having just lost a second-round series to the Miami Heat, Antetokounmpo received this award with ill timing. During last year’s playoffs, he suffered an unfortunate ankle injury that benched him after game four against the Heat. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks’ untimely loss is comparable to when Dirk Nowitzki received M.V.P. in 2007 after elimination. Dirk notably expressed wishes to continue the season.
In response to his team’s loss, Antetokounmpo stated that, although he’d love to still be on the court, he’s grateful for the special honor. He mentioned goals of becoming the first player to receive three M.V.P.s in a row since Larry Bird in 1986. Since last March, his mindset is different. He told reporters that winning it again isn’t necessary.
Receiving 85 first-place votes, Antetokounmpo bested Lebron James, who obtained 16 votes. In Greece’s home country, he’s widely known as the Greek Freak, due to his oddly long arms. His N.B.A journey began in 2013 when Milwaukee drafted him in the 15th pick. As an 18-year-old boy of Nigerian immigrants, Antetokounmpo came into the league slender, but with hopeful potential. In 2017, he launched out of beginner status, winning the Most Improved Player of The Year Award. Since then, he’s taken a journey of success by receiving two M.V.P. awards back-to-back.
Winning the second award, Antetokounmpo joins legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Tim Duncan. All of these players have received consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards. With the Bucks’ recent loss, Antetokounmpo has an important decision ahead of him. As of now, he is eligible to enter the free-agent roster for next season. Hinting future decisions, Antetokounmpo recently stated that, as long as everyone’s on the same page, battling the same battle, he plans on staying in the same place. He’s expressed loyalty, saying that he sees himself remaining with the Bucks for the next 15 years.