There has been MVP talk surrounding Milwaukee Bucks' superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo all season, but it got a little louder yesterday as the Greek Freak dropped 27 points, pulled down 21 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead his team to a nice 116-109 win against the Houston Rockets and reigning league MVP, James Harden.
But rather than declare himself an MVP candidate, Giannis avoided answering MVP questions, saying (quotes via ESPN),
"To be honest with you, all I care about right now is getting better, helping my team win. And [becoming the league's best player is] going to take care of itself. I know that one day it might happen. I don't know if I'm there yet, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to get there, because that's what I want to be."
Although, while Antetokounmpo remained somewhat humble, his teammate Brook Lopez, did the boasting for him:
"I definitely think it's our belief inside this locker room, and a lot just around the league, that we have the best player in the league right here. He does it in so many ways. He makes so many of his players better. He's all over the court constantly. It's so impressive to watch every night."
More praise for the star came from his own coach, Mike Budenholzer, who said that Giannis, "just does everything. He has a huge impact on winning." And opposing coach Mike D'Antoni leveled praise on the young star as well:
"He's not normal. I mean, that guy is 7 feet and has the [body] control, and all that he does. The guy is a great, great player, so he's in the [MVP] conversation, because they're playing so well. And he should be, but we've got a lot of basketball left... We're only halfway there. He and James are up there with a couple of other guys, and it'll sort itself out."
Even Harden, who has been vocal in his "need" for the MVP award and claim that he is "gonna get it" had to recognize Giannis' talent: "He's up there. He's definitely [elite], just the way he impacts the game."
James Harden on the MVP: I need it, I need it for sure, and I’m gonna get it— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) January 2, 2019
What This Means
Harden probably is the front runner in the MVP race at this point. But the Greek Freak is more than just "in the conversation" as he continues to impress everyone who watches him play. Giannis is currently in the second year of a four-year $100 million deal he signed back in 2016. So, the Bucks have another couple years to continue to build the team around him in the hopes that he will want to resign with them in 2021
The Bucks currently sit at a very nice 29-11 with the NBA's highest winning percentage.
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