Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has pulled off a remarkable accomplishment to put himself alongside two of the NBA's greatest players.
The 'Greek Freak' has been named the 2019/20 league's Most Valuable Player, winning the prestigious award for a second consecutive season.
'IMPLODING': Celtics turn on each other in post-game spat
'EMBARRASSMENT': NBA world in disbelief over historic 'choke'
Giannis won the award over Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver congratulated the 25-year-old after confirming that the runaway favourite had taken out the top gong.
The award is Antetokounmpo’s second straight, putting him on a long but elite list of players to win consecutive MVPs, joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
Of those players, only Nash did not win an NBA championship. Antetokounmpo, 25, is seeking his first. The Bucks were knocked out of the NBA playoffs in 2020 by the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs.
Giannis celebrated his award with a cheeky social media post in which the Bucks superstar is pictured reading a newspaper with a headline about his incredible accomplishment.
Antetokounmpo also won Defensive Player of the Year this season, marking an accomplishment that puts him in even more exclusive company. Only Jordan and Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon have won MVP and DPOY in the same season.
"Michael Jordan, one of the best players who's ever done it, if not the best," Antetokounmpo said.
"Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I'm from, Nigeria, where I have roots. ... Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me."
Fans react to stunning achievement
Basketball fans were quick to praise Giannis for joining such illustrious company with his stunning feat.
Congratulations Giannis! It's no small feat. 💪 https://t.co/aEo2R3Y6mY— Matthew Akhigbe 🏆 (@mattakhide) September 18, 2020
Giannis is in great company pic.twitter.com/RDiNyfFPev— |Afterthewhistle| 🏀🏈 (@_thewhistle4) September 18, 2020
Two in a row! Congratulations to @Giannis_An34 for winning back to back NBA MVP awards - an amazing feat. He is a true inspiration on and off the court. Greece is very proud.— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) September 18, 2020
Congrats to Giannis @Giannis_An34 on winning MVP back to back. Winning defensive player and mvp all in the same year is such a feat. Too bad he couldn’t sprinkle it with a championship ring— Vergil K Kujinga (@Vergil_Pilgrim) September 18, 2020
Giannis is only 25 years old and has already won back to back MVPs along with a DPOTY in the same season. He did this at the same age when MJ achieved this and is now the 3rd player to accomplish this feat (Hakeem).— Junior Maruwa (@juniormaruwa) September 18, 2020
Congratulations Giannis "Adetokunbo" Anyetokunpo. You have made Nigeria proud with this feat. Your name and that of Hakeem Olajuwon will forever be indelible in the books of history. https://t.co/1hsKT0S6fp— Gentleman (@olajideobe) September 18, 2020
Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, one steal and one block this season. He shot 55.3 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from 3-point range.
He also increased his 3-point output, hitting 1.4 shots from behind the arc, doubling his previous career high from last season.
The Bucks earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a league best 56-17 record but didn’t get to the conference finals.
Antetokounmpo missed the fifth and final game of the series against the Heat because of an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the round.
with Yahoo Sport US