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.

Antetokounmpo, 25, received 85 of the 101 first-place votes and earned 962 points in the voting.

Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James was second on 753 points.

Speaking after the Lakers went 1-0 up in the Western Conference finals, James said he was annoyed at finishing in second place and receiving 16 of the 101 first-place votes, compared to Antetokounmpo’s 85.

Houston Rockets star James Harden was in third with 367 points.

“Michael Jordan, one of the best players who’s ever done it, if not the best,” said Antetokounmpo, speaking from Greece.

“Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I’m from, Nigeria, where I have roots.

“Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me.”

Antetokounmpo 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.

However, the Bucks were eliminated in the second round of the play-offs by the Miami Heat.

“I’m happy for this award, but I want more,” said Antetokounmpo. “I want to be a champion.”

‘I’m going back to my room, drink some wine’- James

Reacting to the voting, four-time MVP James, 35, playing in his 17th season said: “Out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. 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.”

James, who is still in contention to win his fourth NBA title, said he believed the criteria for winning the award had “changed a lot” during his team in the league.

“Sometimes it’s the best player on the best team. Sometimes it’s the guy with the best season statistically. Giannis had a hell of a season, I can definitely say that.”

He added: “I mean, I’m fine. We’re 1-0 in the Western Conference finals I’m absolutely great now. I’m going back to my room, drink some wine and sleep very well tonight. Let’s not get it twisted. I’m great.”

Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis, who finished sixth in the voting, said of James: “What he’s been able to do for our team, the things he’s been doing individually, on a consistent basis, night-in, night-out… it’s not even a question who deserves it.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here