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Giannis Antetokounmpo named NBA Most Valuable Player for 2018-19 season

Tuesday 25 June 2019 11:47, UK

Adam Silver presents Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 2018-19 Most Valuable Player award 9:33
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named 2018-19 Most Valuable Player at the NBA Awards

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season.

Antetokounmpo joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in Bucks history to earn MVP honours.

The 24-year-old from Greece joins Germany's Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07 Dallas Mavericks) as European NBA MVPs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's 2018-19 season

  • 27.7 points per game
  • 57.8 field goal percentage
  • 12.5 rebounds per game
  • 5.9 assists per game
  • 1.3 steals per game
  • 1.5 blocks per game

The only other non-United States players to capture the honour were Nigeria's Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94 Houston Rockets) and Canada's Steve Nash (2004-05 and 2005-06 Phoenix Suns). In addition, two-time MVP Tim Duncan (2001-02 and 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs) was born in the US Virgin Islands.

Antetokounmpo was selected over fellow MVP finalists Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden of the Rockets, last season's MVP.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes at the rim in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals 1:06
Experience the scoring punch, emphatic dunks and athletic defense that earned Giannis Antetokounmpo his first MVP award

"We are beyond proud of Giannis for earning his first MVP award," said Bucks general manager Jon Horst. "This well-deserved honour is due to his relentless hard work and dedication in becoming the most impactful player in the NBA.

"Giannis propelled the Bucks to great heights last season with his leadership, drive and unselfish play. His grace on and off the court has made him one of the most admired players in the world. On behalf of ownership, the entire Bucks organisation and Bucks fans everywhere, we congratulate Giannis for being named MVP."

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While leading the Bucks to their best record since the 1980-81 season and the top mark in the NBA at 60-22, Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points (3rd in the NBA), 12.5 rebounds (6th in the NBA) and 5.9 assists (T-20th in the NBA) per game - all career-highs.

2018-19 NBA Awards winners

  • Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Most Improved Player: Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers)

He also shot a franchise record 57.8 per cent from the field (11th in the NBA), blocked 1.5 shots (10th in the NBA) and swiped 1.3 steals each contest.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks with authority against Miami 15:05
Watch MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's best plays of the 2018-19 regular season

Antetokounmpo became just the ninth player in NBA history to average at least 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game over the course of a season and did so with the highest shooting percentage.

A First Team All-NBA and First Team All-Defense selection, and finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo earned Eastern Conference Player of the Month honours in October/November., December, February and March/April last season and was a six-time Eastern Conference Player of the Week winner.

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Antetokounmpo captained Team Giannis at the 68th All-Star Game in February after receiving the most player votes, the second-most fan votes and tied for the second-most media votes among all players.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Giannis Antetokoumpo pose together prior to the NBA Awards
Image: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Giannis Antetokoumpo pose together prior to the NBA Awards

This is the fourth time a Buck has won MVP and the first time since Abdul-Jabbar in 1973-74, who also won in 1970-71 and 1971-72.

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At the age of 24, Antetokounmpo is just the 12th player to win MVP before turning 25 and is the youngest MVP since Derrick Rose (22) won in 2010-11.

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