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Cue Shock and Awe: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named 2019-20 NBA MVP

Illustration for article titled Cue Shock and Awe: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named 2019-20 NBA MVP
Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)

For months now, the worst kept secret in America was that Giannis Antetokounmpo would run it back and be named Most Valuable Player for a second consecutive year. But since the NBA is no longer in the business of keeping “secrets,” what we already knew is officially official: the Bucks flopped in the playoffs for a second consecutive year the Greek Freak is your 2019-20 MVP.

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In doing so, ESPN reports that the 25-year-old joins some elite company that includes Steph Cury, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, LeBron James and others as back-to-back MVPs.

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Giannis dominated the regular season with monster averages of 29.5 points, 13.6 boards and 5.6 assists per game, but looked like a shell of himself in the playoffs, where the Bucks got destroyed by the Miami Heat and also faltered for the second year in a row. So yes, winning this award is a good reason to celebrate, but the four-time All-Star isn’t exactly on the best terms with the Bucks organization right now.

As we previously reported at The Root, immediately after the Bucks were eliminated from the Eastern Conference Semifinals in only five games, Giannis refuted any assertion that he would demand a trade.

“It’s not happening. That’s not happening,” he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”

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Buuuuuuuuuut after a three-hour lunch meeting last week in Milwaukee, in which Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry expressed the team’s willingness to cut the check and spend into the luxury tax in order to provide Giannis with the supporting cast that he so desperately needs to finally win his first NBA championship, this happened:

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Take from that what you will, but it can’t be good.

Oh, wait. We’re supposed to be celebrating, right? Let’s see what NBA Twitter has to say about Giannis winning his second consecutive MVP award.

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It’s never good for the balance of the league when superstars leave small markets in favor of bigger ones—when Kevin Durant did it, it literally broke the NBA—so hopefully, Giannis and the Bucks are able to work things out.

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Congrats, Giannis!

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

Bron boys are already in their feelings about this. He was a defensive terror and shot 55% from the field. I sincerely hope that he stays in Milwaukee but if he decided to leave I can’t blame him. This postseason exposed his supporting cast as little more than role players that are miscast. He is approaching Charles Barkley in Philadelphia territory. Good enough to get to the playoffs and get close but still lacking someone that can take the heat off of him