Giannis Antetokounmpo Gets Very Honest About MVP Win

Giannis Antetokounmpo Gets Very Honest About MVP Win

Giannis Antetokounmpo won his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Award on Friday. While he was obviously pleased with the honor, he took a moment to speak honestly about what it meant.

“Don’t call me MVP until I’m a champion,” he said.

“I’m happy for this award but I want more. You can never take these moments for granted. Obviously I’m disappointed in not being able to help my team get to the third round, but at the end of the day I know I have to get better, get my team to improve.”

To be clear, Antetokounmpo was still proud of the accomplishment.

“Nothing can take away this award, I worked really hard, my teammates helped me,” he said.

“When I’m done with the game I want to be a champion, I want to be proud of what I have accomplished.”

In winning his second straight MVP Award, Antetokounmpo joins Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as a back-to-back winner.

He also joins Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same year. The latter did it in 1993-94, whereas the former accomplished the feat in 1987-88.

Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists during the regular season, and roughly similarly stats in the playoffs. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, the Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Miami Heat a few weeks back.

It was a disappointing conclusion to a season that was supposed to mark Antetokounmpo’s coming out party.

Naturally, the defeat led to inevitable questions about Antetokounmpo’s future with the Bucks.

The two-time MVP aimed to address those concerns on Friday.

“As long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing … which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years,” he said on TNT.

Antetokounmpo, for his part, knows the improvement must start with him.

“Obviously, I’m happy for tonight and I’m happy for this award but I always look forward,” he said.

“I always try to figure out, how can I get better? How can I do it again? How can I do it for multiple years to come? How can I be a champion? I’m happy. I’m grateful, but how can I do it again?”

And he expects the same from his organization.

“At the end of the day, every team has got to improve,” he continued.

“It’s simple. You’ve got to be better than what you were last year. If you did not win the whole thing, you’ve got to get better.

“If you win the whole thing, you’ve got to get better and do it again. So, for now, our team has got to get better. I think we have great talent and as long as we improve individually and improve as a team we’re gonna be in a good spot.”

This is going to be a big year for the Bucks. One way or another, they need to figure out a way to make it to the NBA Finals. If they fail again, all parties involved are going to start running out excuses.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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