The NBA has officially declared what Milwaukee Bucks fans have believed all season long, that Giannis Antetokounmpo is the league's Most Valuable Player.
Antetokounmpo, in his sixth year with the Bucks, received the title for regular season play at the NBA Awards on Monday night. He beat out Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder) and James Harden (Houston Rockets), the other two finalists for the award.
Like his coach, Mike Budenholzer, was during his Coach of the Year talk, Antetokounmpo was teary-eyed in his speech. He honored his late father during the talk.
"My goal is to win a championship, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make that happen," were the last words of his speech.
This year, his statistics are off the charts:
- 27.7 points per game (3rd in the league, 6th in Bucks history, career high)
- 12.5 rebounds per game (6th in NBA, 8th in Bucks history, career high)
- 5.9 assists per game (career high)
- 57.9 percent shooting from the field (a Bucks record)
- 1.5 blocks per game (10th in the league)
- 1.3 steals per game
- 2nd in defensive rating per Basketball Reference (99.4)
- 17th in offensive rating per Basketball Reference (121.2)
- 2nd in value over replacement player per Basketball Reference (7.6)
All this came in leading the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. They came within six victories of their first NBA title since 1971, and had the NBA's best record (60-22).
The All-Star Game captain is the ninth player in the history of the league to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game for an entire season. He racked up 53 double-doubles (64.6 percent of all games) and five triple doubles.
Antetokounmpo, 24, reached the All-NBA first team for the first time in his career, and was also named first-team All-Defensive. He also received Eastern Conference Player of the Month four times, a league high.
Antetokounmpo is the second Bucks player to win the award. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won it three times while with Milwaukee.
Follow the NBA Awards with live coverage below.