On Friday, after the league told teams the races for MVP and other individual regular-season awards were over – before the NBA restarted in Orlando, Florida – the decision came as news for Budenholzer.
“I didn’t know it was, but it makes sense. I think it was 64, 65, 66 games for different teams so it’s definitely important work and more importantly certainly Giannis in our mind has done more than enough to deserve a back-to-back MVP, ”said Budenholzer. . “What he does for us on both sides of the pitch, what he does every night, the way he sets the bar for us, culturally, ethically, just like a teammate. He’s an incredible teammate, selfless, does it all. And I think that’s kind of what MVP is, so we definitely feel like he deserves it and we’re happy to support him. ”
If Antetokounmpo, 25, wins the award, he will join LeBron James (25 in 2009-10) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24 in 1971-72) as the only players to win multiple NBA MVPs at 25. or younger, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Greece’s Antetokounmpo would join Tim Duncan (two) and Steve Nash (two) as the third player born outside the United States to win multiple MVPs.
Antetokounmpo is also looking to join Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in the same season.
At the time of closing, Caesars Sportsbook had an Antetokounmpo odds of -800, ahead of James (+500), to win the MVP.
On Thursday, Antetokounmpo announced the official release of his second signature sneaker, the Nike Zoom Freak 2, with special access to Nike members via Zoom, citing Kevin Durant, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and Kevin Garnett as his favorite players growing up.
“I want to be one of the best players to ever play the game,” Antetokounmpo told reporters during a media availability on July 1. “I did the best job I could do trying to stay prepared and trying to prepare my team for it. trip that we are about to go on to go and play games. But as I said, whoever wants it the most, who is mentally prepared for it all, what is happening in Orlando is the team that will win. “