Giannis Antetokounmpo has made history.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ star has been named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced today.
He is one of only five players- the others being Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Kevin Garnett- in league history to win an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award in their careers.
He’s also a finalist for Most Valuable Player this season and could become only the third player in NBA history to win both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. The league’s 2019-20 MVP will be announced at a later date.
— NBA (@NBA) August 25, 2020
Antetokounmpo received 75 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters and earned 432 total points.
‘The Greek Freak’ was the top-rated defensive player on the best defense in the NBA this season as he led the league in defensive rating (97.4), helping the Bucks own the NBA’s top team defensive rating for the second consecutive season. Antetokounmpo also held his opponents to an NBA-low 39.9 field goal percentage this season and led the league in defensive win shares.
“Giannis being recognized as our league’s best defensive player is such an amazing accomplishment,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “We are so proud of him and grateful for what he does for our team every day. Earning the Defensive Player of the Year award is about his hard work, dedication to his family, and the trust and commitment of his teammates and our coaching staff.”
“Giannis’ commitment to defending and winning is beyond incredible,” said Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “He impacts the game with his blocked shots, rebounding and versatility. His talent is extraordinary. Combined with our team’s efforts, it’s made for a very special moment – to recognize him as the Defensive Player of the Year.”