NEW YORK -- Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today.
This is the second straight Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Antetokounmpo, who becomes the 12th player to earn the honor in consecutive seasons. A native of Greece, Antetokounmpo is the first player from Europe to be selected as the NBA MVP more than once. Antetokounmpo, 25, also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to win multiple NBA MVP awards by the age of 25.
Antetokounmpo was previously named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He joins Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) as the only players to be selected as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player and the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. (The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award was first presented in the 1982-83 season.)
Antetokounmpo received 85 of 101 first-place votes and earned 962 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James received the other 16 first-place votes and finished in second place with 753 points. Houston Rockets guard James Harden (367 points) finished in third place, followed by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić (200 points) in fourth place and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (168 points) in fifth place.
Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote. The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played through March 11. The seeding games, which were played July 30 – Aug. 14 as part of the season restart, did not count toward voting for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award or the league’s other traditional end-of-season awards.
Despite finishing with the best record in the regular season, Milwaukee failed to reach the Finals, losing in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Antetokounmpo posted a 31.9 player efficiency rating -- the highest in a season in NBA history, per ESPN Stats & Information data. He led the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at the rim (minimum: 100 FGA defended) and field goal percentage allowed as the closest defender (min.: 500 FGA defended), according to Second Spectrum research. As great as his numbers were, Antetokounmpo has his sights set on getting better this offseason.
Antetokounmpo was honored as the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December and January, in addition to being named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week four times. He was also voted as a starter to the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, serving as a team captain for the second year in a row.