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Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP; Budenholzer named NBA Coach of the Year

Budenholzer, Horst and Antetokounmpo win awards
Giannis Antetokounmpo gets emotional as he receives NBA MVP award
Posted at 10:16 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 15:58:17-04

It's finally official: Giannis Antetokounmpo is the 2018-2019 NBA MVP.

The Greek Freak led the Milwaukee Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals and set career highs last season, averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists. The Bucks also compiled a 60-22 record in the regular season, best in the NBA.

“This is just the beginning," he said on stage accepting the award. "My goal is to win a championship. As my dad told me, 'Always want more, but never be greedy.' My goal is to win a championship, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.”

He got emotional while accepting the award and thanking his family for its support.

"When you're a little kid, you don't see the future. If you have a good parent, your parent sees the future for you," he said, thanking his mother. "You're my true hero."

Antetokounmpo was nominated along with the other two finalists, Oklahoma City's Paul George and Houston's James Harden. Among those three players, the Bucks forward is the only one to average a double-double, 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per contest, with a top-10 defensive rating last year. Antetokounmpo was also nominated for defensive player of the year, which was taken home by Utah's Rudy Gobert.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer also took home hardware at the NBA Awards, winning NBA Coach of the Year. Meanwhile, Milwaukee Bucks GM Jon Horst was named the 2018-2019 NBA Executive of the Year.

"This is pretty incredible," Budenholzer said. "The players in Milwaukee are special. This was a special year. Just couldn't be more grateful to be their coach. And looking forward to more great things going forward with the Milwaukee Bucks."

The Bucks went 44-38 in 2017-2018 and won 60 games in the 2018-2019 regular season, best in the NBA. Milwaukee finished first in scoring (118.1 points per game) and led the league in defensive rating (104.9).

Budenholzer beat out finalists Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets. He also won Coach of the Year in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks.