Kevin Durant Gets Very Honest About Giannis Antetokounmpo Winning MVP

Kevin Durant Gets Very Honest About Giannis Antetokounmpo Winning MVP

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP award this season. The race came down to him and LeBron James, and voters determined that Antetokounmpo ultimately had the better regular season.

When the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Heat, all the while James led the Los Angeles Lakers to the Western Conference Finals passed the Houston Rockets, some argued that the MVP went to the wrong man.

This past week, 2014 MVP and current Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant appeared on the Joe Budden Podcast. Among the topics discussed was who the MVP should have gone to this season.

“The criteria is the regular season, but I understand,” Durant said.

“I feel the same way you feel. I think that they should evaluate the whole season, playoffs included. If you include the playoffs, the Bron is easily the MVP. But I see why, with the rules now, why Giannis was the MVP. His numbers [were] crazy.”

Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists during the regular season. James, meanwhile, put up 25.3 points, a league-leading 10.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per outing.

It was close, obviously, but Antetokounmpo’s better defense and lack of a notable second star likely cinched his case in the eyes of some voters.

This marked the second straight season Antetokounmpo took home MVP honors. Only James, Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell have won back-to-back MVP awards.

Moreover, only Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon captured MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season – with the latter doing it in ’94 and the former in ’88.

Following his most recent MVP win, Antetokounmpo took a big picture approach for what it all meant.

“I’m happy for this award but I want more,” he said.

“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.”

Most importantly, Antetokounmpo maintained that he will not truly feel like an MVP until he captures that elusive first NBA championship.

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

At only 25 years old, Antetokounmpo hasn’t even truly hit his prime yet. He still has plenty of top-tier years left in the NBA and will likely have many opportunities to win a championship.

Next season will be an interesting test. The Bucks know that Antetokounmpo will hit free agency the following summer, so they will no doubt do everything within their power to lead him to a title.

Will they ultimately be successful? Time will tell.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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