Giannis third-youngest to win MVP in 40 years

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Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the second Milwaukee Bucks player to win the Most Valuable Player award. The award was announced on Monday at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

At just 24 years old, Antetokounmpo became the third-youngest player to win the MVP over the past 40 seasons, behind Derrick Rose and LeBron James. The Athens, Greece native is the fifth player born outside of the United States to win MVP.

Throughout the season, Antetokounmpo said he was not focused on winning the award. He was asked multiple times if it was an explicit goal. He would often respond with some variation of: Team wins are more important than individual accolades.

During end-of-season interviews on May 27, he told reporters, “I am happy to be one of the three finalists. Hopefully, I get it. If not, I’ll have many more years where we are successful and put me in a situation to get it.”

The Houston Rockets’ James Harden and Oklahoma City Thunder‘s Paul George were also MVP finalists.

Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this season. He was voted a 2019 All-Star team captain alongside James. He became the first player to average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game on a team with the league’s best record since Shaquille O’Neal did it as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-2000.

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks made it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They were eventually eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by the Toronto Raptors.

The “Greek Freak” averaged 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game during in the postseason.

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