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Giannis Antetokounmpo bursts into tears after winning MVP

By Opta

Los Angeles, June 25: Giannis Antetokounmpo was overcome with emotion as he delivered a heartfelt speech after being crowned the NBA's Most Valuable Player.

Milwaukee Bucks star Antetokounmpo was named the 2018-19 MVP ahead of James Harden and Paul George at the NBA awards in Los Angeles on Monday.

Antetokounmpo joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the second Bucks player to win the MVP, capping a stellar season for the 24-year-old Greek sensation in Milwaukee.

"Obviously my dad is not here with me..." Antetokounmpo said as the crowd encouraged him with applause.

"Two years ago, I had to go in my head that I'm going to be the best player in the league, that I'm going to do whatever it takes to help my team win and that I'm going to win the MVP and every day that I step on the floor I always think about my dad.

"That motivates me and pushes me to play hard and move forward even when my body's sore, even when I don't feel like playing I always go show up."

Antetokounmpo, who finished his sixth season with the Bucks, was a favourite heading into the night, along with 2017-18 recipient and Houston Rockets star Harden.

He made a strong case for himself when he helped Milwaukee to the NBA's best record at 60-22 before a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Antetokounmpo's efforts — 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game — saw him honoured as the league's best player.

"MVP is not about stats and numbers. It is all about winning and all about making sure you go out there and do everything you can to win," Antetokounmpo – who became the youngest winner since Derrick Rose in 2010-11 – said. "I think that is what we did as a team."

Antetokounmpo added: "This is just the beginning. My goal is to win a championship, as my dad taught me. Always want more and never be greedy. My goal is to win a championship and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen."

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Story first published: Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 10:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 25, 2019
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