Giannis Antetokounmpo, known as the ‘Greek Freak’, delivered perhaps the best performance of his career at the best possible moment and now can add an NBA Finals MVP award to his two regular-season MVP trophies.
Just as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led Milwaukee to their first championship in 1971, Antetokounmpo made sure a big man carried the Bucks to their next title, scoring 50 points to end the city’s 50-year drought.
However, Antetokounmpo was an easy choice for the MVP honor after also adding 14 rebounds and five blocks in a series-clinching 105-98 Game 6 victory on Tuesday night over the Phoenix Suns.
“I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me,” Antetokounmpo said during the postgame ceremony on the Fiserv Forum floor.
“I want to thank my team-mates, man. They played hard every fricking game. I trusted this team. I wanted to do it here in this city. I wanted to do it with these guys. I’m happy. I’m happy we were able to get it done.”
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo had at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in three of the six games in this series. He did all that while dealing with a hyperextended left knee that prevented him from playing in the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks.
Also, Antetokounmpo initially feared the injury was more serious and would keep him out of action for an entire year. He instead was back on the floor a week later for the start of the NBA Finals.