Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA’s most valuable player of the 2018-19 season. Antetokounmpo received 78 of the 101 possible first-place votes. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in Bucks history to earn MVP honours.
Antetokounmpo wept on stage as he gave a heartfelt speech thanking his coaches, teammates and his father, Charles, who died in September 2017 of a heart attack.
“I want to thank my dad. Obviously, you know, he’s not here with me. Two years ago, I had the goal in my head that I’m going to be the best player in the league and I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my team win and I’m going to win the MVP,” he said.
“Everyday that I step on the floor, I always think about my dad and that motivates me, that pushes me to play harder and move forward.”
Bucks general manager Jon Horst said: “We are beyond proud of Giannis for earning his first MVP award. 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.”
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.
Read also: Raptors Beat Warriors 2-1 In Nba Final