Giannis Antetokounmpo was awarded the NBA Finals MVP for his performance in the Milwaukee Bucks’ run to their first championship in 50 years.
The “Greek Freak’s” performance in Game 6 lifted the Bucks over the Phoenix Suns. He scored 50 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, recorded five blocks and dished out two assists in the win.
He is the first player since Shaquille O’Neal to record 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in any playoff game, according to ESPN Stats & Info. O’Neal did it in 2001. He’s also the first player to have a 50-10-5 stat line since blocks were first tracked in the 1973-74 season.
His prowess through the NBA Finals had some crowning him the “new king of the NBA.”
Antetokounmpo’s run with the Bucks really started at the end of last year. He and the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs in the conference semifinals and questioned swirled over whether he would sign an extension with Milwaukee to keep him on the team for years to come.
In December, he signed a five-year, $228.2 million contract extension and jumpstarted his pursuit of a title.
He helped the Bucks to 46 wins in the 2020-21 season. He was an All-Star for the fifth consecutive time and took the underrated Milwaukee team through the playoffs and over some of the best teams in the league. The Bucks defeated the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks before beating the Suns.
Antetokounmpo was thought to have suffered a serious knee injury against the Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals. He missed the final two games of that series and was able to play in the NBA Finals and not only guide the team to a title, but win the Finals MVP.
Antetokounmpo can now call himself a five-time All-Star, two-time MVP and most importantly and NBA champion.