Figuring Out Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Legacy After Back-To-Back MVP’s
Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bill Russell. How about this one: Hakeem Olajuwon, Jordan and Antetokounmpo. With his second MVP win being announced on Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks star joins both of those illustrious lists. The first are the only players to win back-to-back MVP’s and the second are the only players to win MVP and DPOY in the same season. That’s not elite company, those are the all-time greats.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his second consecutive MVP award, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 18, 2020
But, there is only one downer, the Bucks are out of the playoffs after a gentleman’s sweep via the Miami Heat. This year and last year’s playoffs have had people calling into question whether or not Giannis can be the same kind of dominant force in the playoffs, with his struggling late in tight games where the best defenses in the league can really key in on him. I find this ridiculous simply because the narrative around great players is almost always the same, they can’t win or get it done when it counts – until they do.
Take Jordan’s ’88 season where he achieved the MVP+DPOY feat. His Bulls team got ousted by a superior Piston’s team that went on to win the finals. The same goes for LeBron. His most famous postseason flameouts in Cleveland are ’09 and ’10. It seems that with great players like the LeBron’s and Jordan’s they always need a great sidekick to help ease the load and, no offense to Khris Middleton, the Bucks’ simply don’t have that.
While this is encouraging for Giannis and his development, rumors are circulating about his leaving the Bucks in 2021 to find greener pastures which would be eerily similar to what LeBron did, joining the Heat in 2010.