Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has received his second straight MVP award in the NBA, according to a league announcement last Friday. This was a remarkable achievement by the 25-year-old player, who became the third player in NBA history to get MVP and also Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, obtaining the same feat as players like Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
However, not everyone was ready to toss praise at Antetokounmpo for his award.
The Greek Freak Does It Again
Antetokounmpo’s marks are impressive. According to the stats, in his seventh season, he averaged 29.5 points, fifth place in NBA, as well as 13.6 rebounds (2nd position in NBA) per game. Furthermore, he dished 5.6 assists and shot 55.3% for the field. In fact, he is the only player within the league to be in the top-15 rank when it comes to scoring and rebounding this season.
Antetokounmpo is the only guy to come close to 20.0 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest. He has led his team to achieve great results in net rating and defensive rating in 2019-20.
Many people support Antetokounmpo for his hard work and commitment to the basketball. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said, “What Giannis does for our team on both ends of the court, every night, is extraordinary. As a teammate, he sets the bar for all of us through his incredible work ethic, his unselfishness and his drive to be the best. He impacts all of us as a player and a person, and we’re proud to congratulate him once again on being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.”
Bucks General manager Jon Horst said after the announcement was made, “We are extremely grateful to witness Giannis earn the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive season and send congratulations to him and his family. Giannis is an elite player and this historic achievement is a testament to his superior work ethic, character and determination to improve every day. He is a special player and an even better person, which makes it that much more gratifying that he is again recognized as our league’s MVP.”
Other players have been first and second in those positions. Kawhi Leonard had second place in the MVP race and achieved the Defensive Player in 2015-16. In the case of LeBron James, he won MVP and was second in Defensive Player in 2008-09 and 2012-13. Shaquille O’Neal conquered the same result in 1999-2000.
Antetokounmpo’s high marks don’t stop there. He is the 14th player with multiple MVP awards and also the second international player in that club, equaling Canada’s Steve Nash. It was the fifth time that a player received an MVP award while playing for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo is among the best players of the league and still has a lot of ball left in him.
King James Not Impressed
LA Lakers forward LeBron James is not happy with the MVP voting totals. He disagrees with how things turned out after he came in second behind of Giannis. It’s the fourth time in his 17-year professional career that he finished as the runner-up.
James said after the announcement, “Pissed me off. That’s my true answer. It pissed me off, because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything.” He added, “You know, not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP. But that pissed me off. And I finished second a lot in my career, either from a championship, and now four times as an MVP.”
Lakers coach Frank Vogel supported James in his reaction, asserting, “You guys all know how I feel about it. To me, he’s the MVP of the league this year. No disrespect to Giannis. Giannis had a great season. He’s a great player. What LeBron does for our team, to me, is unparalleled.”