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Watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo accepts NBA MVP award

Giannis Antetokounmpo accepted his second straight NBA MVP Award on Friday from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Giannis, 25, became the third player to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. It's the fifth MVP award for the Bucks as a franchise, with three won by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and now two by Giannis.

Lebron James and James Harden were the other finalists for the MVP award.

During his interview, Giannis says as long as the Bucks are always working towards a championship, there's no reason for him to leave Milwaukee:

Here's the full release from the Milwaukee Bucks:

Previously named the 2019-20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo becomes only the third player in NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94). He’s only the fifth player to win both awards at any point in a career.

The NBA’s 2018-19 MVP, Antetokounmpo is now the 12th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVPs and the 14th player to win multiple MVPs in a career.

“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,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “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.”

“What Giannis does for our team on both ends of the court, every night, is extraordinary,” said Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “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.”

In his seventh season, Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points (5th in NBA) and 13.6 rebounds (2nd in NBA) per game, which were both career-high marks, in addition to dishing out 5.6 assists and shooting 55.3% from the field. He was the only player in the league to rank inside the top-15 in both scoring and rebounding this season and was the only one to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Antetokounmpo also became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1965-66, and only the third player all-time, to average at least 29.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists over the course of a season.

Antetokounmpo’s 2019-20 season was one of the most efficient in NBA history as he put up his MVP-winning numbers while playing 30.4 minutes per game (2nd fewest of his career), which led to him having the highest single-season Player Efficiency Rating of all-time (31.86). He also had nine games this season where scored 30 points in fewer than 30 minutes, which were three more than any player has tallied in a single season in league history.

Led by Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were the NBA’s top team in the regular season for the second straight season as they finished 2019-20 with a 56-17 (.767) record after going 60-22 (.732) last season. The Bucks outscored their opponents by a league-high 10.1 points per game this season and were the top scoring and rebounding team in the NBA. Milwaukee also led the league in net rating and defensive rating in 2019-20, marking the second consecutive season it has topped the NBA in both categories.

The NBA’s MVP award was voted on by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Antetokounmpo earned 85 first-place votes to win MVP over fellow finalists LeBron James and James Harden, who finished second and third respectively.

This is the fifth time the Bucks have had a player win MVP in franchise history. In addition to Antetokounmpo the past two seasons, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earned MVP honors for the 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1973-74 seasons. Milwaukee’s five MVP awards are now the fifth-most among all NBA franchises.

Photo: Getty Images

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