Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second successive season.
He becomes only the third player, after Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, to earn the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award in the same season.
Thank you Milwaukee for all the love and support you showed my teammates and I this season. You guys are the best fans in the league. I can’t wait for next season! #ThroughTheWall #Antetokounbros 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/k5D6HxSZwH
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) September 16, 2020
Antetokounmpo, 25, averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 63 regular-season games in 2019-20.
In nine play-off games, he averaged 26.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists.
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.
“Obviously, I’m happy for tonight and I’m happy for this award but I always look forward,” Antetokounmpo said during Friday’s virtual press conference. “I always try to figure out how can I get better? How can I do it again? How can I do it for multiple years to come? How can I be a champion? I’m happy. I’m grateful, but how can I do it again?”
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. Right now, he’s using the time to focus on family, including his infant son, Liam, while spending time in Athens, Greece.
“As long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing … which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years,” Antetokounmpo told Ernie Johnson on NBA TV after accepting the trophy.