Antetokounmpo was crowned the Most Valuable Player for the second straight year after leading the Bucks to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the league’s best record (56-17) before losing in the semifinals at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The 25-year-old, who averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game during the regular season – became the first player to claim MVP honours in successive seasons since Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry in 2015 and 2016.
After winning his first MVP award last year, Antetokounmpo said: “Please, after this day don’t call me MVP until I win it again next year.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the 2019-20 Kia NBA MVP!! pic.twitter.com/3oSuWxPgY1
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 18, 2020
But with back-to-back MVPs in 2019-20 after receiving 85 of the 101 first-place votes, Antetokounmpo – whose Bucks lost 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals – told TNT on Friday: “Don’t call me MVP until I’m a champion.”
Having also been named Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo is just the third player in league history to win that award and the MVP in the same season, that select list also featuring Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
“Obviously, I’m happy for tonight and I’m happy for this award, but I always look forward,” Antetokounmpo 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?”
Milwaukee’s failure in the postseason ramped up speculation around Antetokounmpo’s future amid talk he could demand a trade.
Antetokounmpo is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2020-21 season, while he is eligible for a max contract extension worth around $254million this offseason.
“I’m happy, I’m grateful…but how can I do it again?” pic.twitter.com/5i369gz8S6
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 19, 2020
“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,” Antetokounmpo told NBA TV.
Antetokounmpo reportedly met with the Bucks last week in Milwaukee and he added: “Obviously, I would like to keep that conversation I had with the ownership and my coach and the general manager private, but at the end of the day, every team has got to improve.
“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.
“I left the meeting encouraged and was happy with what we discussed and for now, we’re on the same page. I was happy that they came and we had this long conversation about how we’re gonna get better and about things for the future, but, as I said, I was happy.
“I left the conversation encouraged, but I’ve been encouraged my whole career in Milwaukee. I know that we’ve gotten better each year and I know that Milwaukee has great people that view every year the same I do every year, which is to play well, improve and win it all. So, I’ve always been encouraged, but after the meeting I was encouraged, too.”
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