Nigerian-Greek professional basketball player, Giannis Sina Antetokounmpo on Wednesday morning at the Fiserv Forum has lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chris Paul-led Phoenix Suns to a first NBA title since 1971 after scoring 50 points. Giannis who was named as the Finals MVP for his performances throughout the series, helped his side clinched 105-98 Game 6 victory that ended the Bucks’ 50-year title drought and cemented his legacy among the pantheon of Milwaukee Bucks’ greats.
The last time the Bucks won a Championship was in 1971 when Abdul Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led them to their first championship. The Bucks lost the first two matches with two-time MVP, Antetokounmpo missing Game 1 because of a knee injury but he came back to lead his team to four straight wins and a 4-2 series win that crowned his nine-year stay in the NBA. Bucks won the first, third, and fourth quarters and lost the second by 18 points, and started the third quarter with a five-point deficit at 42-47.
Antetokounmpo made 17 of 19 free throws and afterwards joked that “I made them when I’m supposed to,” while he added “Sweat and sacrifice-so much sacrifice.”
On accepting his Finals MVP award, Antetokounmpo stated that “I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me, thank my teammates, they played hard every freaking game. I trusted this team. I wanted to do it here in this city, I wanted to do it with these guys, so I’m happy. I’m happy that we were able to get it done. No matter whatever you feel, when you feel down when things look like it might not happen for you, you might not make it — your career might be basketball, it might be anything — just believe in what you’re doing. Keep working. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t be and what you cannot do. This should make every person, every kid, everybody around the world believe in their dreams.”
He joined the Bucks in 2013 from the Greek side Filathlitikos as an 18-year-old. The NBA named him the league’s regular-season MVP for 2019 and 2020 and he is also a five-time All-Star.
“I could go to a super team and do my part and win a championship,” Giannis stated afterwards. “But this is the hard way to do it and we did it.”
“There was a job that had to be finished. They believed in me. So many people believed in me and helped me get to this point. I’m in the people business and I don’t want to let people down,” he added.
Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks throughout the series and scored 40 or more points in three of the six games.