9 memorable moments from Giannis' MVP-winning night
The playoffs may not have ended the way Milwaukee may have hoped, but the 2018-19 season still ended with Giannis and the Bucks hoisting a whole bunch of hardware.
At last night's NBA Awards – conveniently timed seemingly years after the season ended – Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and GM Jon Horst both came away winners in their respective categories. But the biggest prize and the biggest moment of the night belonged to the Greek Freak, as the Bucks superstar handily came away with the title of Most Valuable Player over Houston's James Harden and Oklahoma City's Paul George.
It may not be the championship, or even merely the NBA Finals visit, this season seemed to portend, but Giannis' win is still an unbelievably proud moment for a city that watched its young star grow up on the court, then help grow the city around him.
Let's savor the night Giannis officially took over the NBA one more time with these nine memorable moments from Monday's NBA Awards.
1. Milwaukee's best
Even before he took the stage to accept his award, it felt like the night was leading up to Giannis' coronation as the Bucks' first MVP (winning three times during his time in Milwaukee) was there to hand the torch off to the team's second.
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Giannis has always put his family first, so it should comes as no surprise that the AntetoCrewmnpo showed up for the Greek Freak's big night – and looked mighty dashing as well, rocking these colorful threads.
3. "Shaq Fu: The Return of the Return"
Host Shaq's history of rapping generally hasn't gone over well with ears, but it was clearly music to Giannis' last night as he opened the show with some lyrics. Man, Giannis MUST'VE been in a good mood.
4. You can't win them all
I respect Kareem Abdul-Jabbar too much to laugh so this is how we pronounce Giannis Antetokounmpo's name from now on fam.... pic.twitter.com/is6qUkRw7r— Per Sources (@PerSources) June 25, 2019
Hmm, well, in fairness to Kareem, it's not like he literally chatted and posed for photos with Giannis earlier that night OH WAIT.
5. I'm not crying; it's just been raining on my face
Man, who's cutting onions? Show yourself! If you don't get teared up listening to Giannis' speech Monday night – especially the part in which he talks about his mother Veronica, his late father Charles or his family's incredible journey from poverty in a country that didn't accept them to celebrating their success with the highest individual honor in a global sport – your eyes just might not work right. And you should get them examined. Or maybe you're just a Rockets fan.
This photo of Giannis and his MVP trophy is everything ❤️ pic.twitter.com/a2GfoURINU— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 25, 2019
Seriously, how can you not love this guy? We can allow debate over whether or not Harden deserved the trophy over Giannis (I mean, we won't listen to it, but we'll allow it), but there's no arguing that this regular season belonged to Giannis, his rise to stardom and his taking the mantle as one of the great players in the NBA right now. Few people made watching basketball more fun this past year.
7. Representing Greece inside and out
If you thought Giannis' outfit looked good on the outside, wait until you see the inside, featuring a photographic shoutout to Greece pressed into the inner lining. Maybe Milwaukee can grab that spot when he takes the stage for his next Most Valuable Player award win.
8. What, you thought you were done crying?
Fate can start you at the bottom. Dreams can take you to the top. #justdoit— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) June 25, 2019
Congratulations to the 2019 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player: @Giannis_An34
Watch his story, "I am Giannis," now in the Nike App: https://t.co/pOyj8Qw4H2 #NBAAwards #KiaMVP #giannis #nike pic.twitter.com/I6g3uEgK45
BUT SERIOUSLY, WHO'S CHOPPING THE ONIONS!?
9. From one MVP to another
The fire to be great burns from within. Amazing speech and insight into why you're at the top! Congrats! pic.twitter.com/1Qm1VVutFj— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) June 25, 2019
Milwaukee may not have any championships to show for it (yet), but these last few years have blessed Brew City with some of the best seasons and the best stars it's ever seen. To have one MVP to celebrate, that's impressive. To have two at once sharing our city? Legendary.
Maybe it's been done before (11 times in the sports' combined history, including just a few years ago with Jose Altuve and James Harden in Houston) but for a city as starved for sports success, or at least as pessimistic about it, as Milwaukee, it feels like something completely brand new.
Now we just need Aaron Rodgers to play up to the level we know he can and make it an MV-Threepeat.
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