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Giannis Antetokounmpo MVP acceptance

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gets emotional as he accepts the most valuable player award at the NBA Awards on Monday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

After a painful exit from the playoffs last month, the Milwaukee Bucks had plenty of reasons to celebrate Monday night after taking home some impressive hardware at the NBA awards in Santa Monica, Calif. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo earned his first Most Valuable Player award after leading the Bucks to a league-best 60-22 regular-season record and the franchise's first Eastern Conference finals appearance since the 2000-01 season. 

The 24-year-old native of Athens, Greece, averaged a career-high 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 57.8 percent from the field before media voting for the awards closed at the end of the regular season. 

In addition to Antetokounmpo, the other two finalists for the MVP award were Houston's James Harden, who averaged 36.1 points, 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds for the 53-29 Rockets; and Oklahoma City's Paul George, who put up 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists to help lead the Thunder to a 49-33 record.

Antetokounmpo was a resounding winner. He received 941 points and 78 first-place votes in the balloting — 165 points more than Harden, who received 23 first-place votes.

Antetokounmpo's win was the fourth time a Bucks player has won the MVP award and the first time since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won in 1973-74. Abdul-Jabber, who struggled Monday night pronouncing Antetokounmpo's name while introducing highlights of Antetokounmpo's play this season, also won the league's top award in 1970-71 and 1971-72.

"MVP is not about stats and numbers, and obviously James Harden had unbelievable numbers and Paul George also, but obviously it's about winning," Antetokounmpo said backstage. "We created great habits throughout the season and were able to stick by them, and that's why we were able to have a chance in every single game we played and were able to win 60 games."

Mike Budenholzer, in his first season as Milwaukee's head coach, was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. He joined former Bucks coach Don Nelson as the only coaches in franchise history to win the award. 

"What they did on the court this year, including the playoffs, was special," Budenholzer said backstage. "We weren't good enough in the end, but we certainly feel like we have enough talent, we have enough character to be a team that's playing in the finals and winning a championship."

Bucks general manager Jon Horst took home the Executive of the Year award for the first time. Horst made key acquisitions for the Bucks in the offseason — including Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton — while also pulling off a mid-season trade for veteran George Hill, who played an important role for the Bucks in the playoffs. 

Horst is the second general manager in franchise history to win Executive of the Year. John Hammond, now GM of the Orlando Magic, won the award with the Bucks after the 2009-10 season.

“We are thrilled for Coach Bud in winning NBA Coach of the Year,” Horst said in a statement on Budenholzer's honor. “In his first season, Bud instilled a new culture and dynamic style of play that led us to 60 wins and the best record in the league."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver presented Antetokounmpo with the MVP award at the end of the awards show, which ran over two hours at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

"I'm extremely blessed," Antetokounmpo said while becoming emotional delivering his acceptance speech. "I want to thank the front office, the ownership for believing in me when I was 18 years old playing in Greece. They allowed me to lead this team, trusted me."

"I want to thank my dad," Antetokounmpo said of his late father Charles, who passed away at age 54 before the 2017-18 season. "Obviously, my dad is not here with me. Two years ago I had the goal in my head that I'm going to be the best player in the league. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help my team win and I'm going to win the MVP. Every day I step on the floor, I always think about my dad, and that motivates me to push harder and move forward even though my body is sore, even though I don't feel like playing, I always go and show up and I always go and do the right thing." 

Antetokounmpo was also a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award, which went to Utah's Rudy Gobert, a 26-year-old French center who averaged 15.9 points and 12.9 rebounds while blocking 2.3 shots a game for the Jazz, who finished the season with a 50-32 record.

"I never thought I would be able to do that when I started basketball playing in France," Gobert said backstage. "I didn't know an NBA player, I didn't know nothing about basketball. I was just having fun."

Lou Williams was voted the Sixth Man of the Year for the second season in a row and third time in his career, tying former Los Angeles Clipper guard Jamal Crawford.

The guard won for the first time in 2015 with Toronto.

Williams beat out teammate Montrezl Harrell, with whom he formed the highest-scoring bench duo in NBA history last season, and Domantas Sabonis of Indiana.

Williams became the career leader in points off the bench during the season.

"This one was different because I kind of went into the season wanting this one. In years past I always just played and lived with whatever happened," he said. "I felt like this one was going to be a legacy piece."

Pascal Siakam of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors earned Most Improved Player.

The 25-year-old from Cameroon averaged 16.9 points and started 79 of 80 regular-season games for the Raptors in his third year with the team.

Siakam had 26 20-point outings after scoring 20 points in a game only once in his first two seasons. He then scored 32 points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Siakam beat out De'Aaron Fox of Sacramento and D'Angelo Russell of Brooklyn.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks easily won Rookie of the Year.

The 20-year-old small forward from Slovenia accepted his trophy from RJ Barrett, who went to the New York Knicks as the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft last week.

Doncic was the No. 3 pick last year.

The other finalists were Deandre Ayton of Phoenix and Trae Young of Atlanta.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson shared the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The former rivals took turns holding their trophies while each other spoke.

Bird said the NBA is in good hands with today's talented athletes and he urged them to keep the game the same so it continues on for future generations.

Johnson starred for the Los Angeles Lakers and Bird with the Boston Celtics.

Mike Conley Jr., newly traded to the Utah Jazz, claimed trophies for Teammate and Sportsmanship of the Year.

Conley earned the awards for his 12-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards received the NBA Cares Community Assist honor.


NBA Most Valuable Players

u-unanimous

2019 - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee

2018 - James Harden, Houston

2017 - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

2016 - u-Stephen Curry, Golden State

2015 - Stephen Curry, Golden State

2014 - Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City

2013 - LeBron James, Miami

2012 - LeBron James, Miami

2011 - Derrick Rose, Chicago

2010 - LeBron James, Cleveland

2009 - LeBron James, Cleveland

2008 - Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers

2007 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas

2006 - Steve Nash, Phoenix

2005 - Steve Nash, Phoenix

2004 - Kevin Garnett, Minnesota

2003 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio

2002 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio

2001 - Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers

2000 - Shaquille O'Neal, L.A. Lakers

1999 - Karl Malone, Utah

1998 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1997 - Karl Malone, Utah

1996 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1995 - David Robinson, San Antonio

1994 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston

1993 - Charles Barkley, Phoenix

1992 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1991 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1990 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers

1989 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers

1988 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1987 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers

1986 - Larry Bird, Boston

1985 - Larry Bird, Boston

1984 - Larry Bird, Boston

1983 - Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers

1982 - Moses Malone, Houston

1981 - Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers

1980 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers

1979 - Moses Malone, Houston

1978 - Bill Walton, Portland

1977 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers

1976 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers

1975 - Bob McAdoo, Buffalo

1974 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee

1973 - Dave Cowens, Boston

1972 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee

1971 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee

1970 - Willis Reed, New York

1969 - Wes Unseld, Baltimore

1968 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers

1967 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers

1966 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers

1965 - Bill Russell, Boston

1964 - Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati

1963 - Bill Russell, Boston

1962 - Bill Russell, Boston

1961 - Bill Russell, Boston

1960 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors

1959 - Bob Pettit, St. Louis

1958 - Bill Russell, Boston

1957 - Bob Cousy, Boston

1956 - Bob Pettit, St. Louis


NBA Coaches of the Year

2019 - Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee

2018 - Dwane Casey, Toronto

2017 - Mike D'Antoni, Houston

2016 - Steve Kerr, Golden State

2015 - Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta

2014 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2013 - George Karl, Denver

2012 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2011 - Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

2010 - Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City

2009 - Mike Brown, Cleveland

2008 - Byron Scott, New Orleans

2007 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto

2006 - Avery Johnson, Dallas

2005 - Mike D'Antoni, Phoenix

2004 - Hubie Brown, Memphis

2003 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2002 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit

2001 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia

2000 - Glenn Rivers, Orlando

1999 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland

1998 - Larry Bird, Indiana

1997 - Pat Riley, Miami

1996 - Phil Jackson, Chicago

1995 - Del Harris, L.A. Lakers

1994 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta

1993 - Pat Riley, New York

1992 - Don Nelson, Golden State

1991 - Don Chaney, Houston

1990 - Pat Riley, L.A. Lakers

1989 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix

1988 - Doug Moe, Denver

1987 - Mike Schuler, Portland

1986 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta

1985 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1984 - Frank Layden, Utah

1983 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1982 - Gene Shue, Washington

1981 - Jack McKinney, Indiana

1980 - Bill Fitch, Boston

1979 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City

1978 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta

1977 - Tom Nissalke, Houston

1976 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland

1975 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha

1974 - Ray Scott, Detroit

1973 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston

1972 - Bill Sharman, L.A. Lakers

1971 - Dick Motta, Chicago

1970 - Red Holzman, New York

1969 - Gene Shue, Baltimore

1968 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis

1967 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago

1966 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia

1965 - Red Auerbach, Boston

1964 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco

1963 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis


NBA Rookies of the Year

(u-unanimous)

2019 - Luka Doncic, Dallas

2018 - Ben Simmons, Philadelphia

2017 - Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee

2016 - u-Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

2015 - Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota

2014 - Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia

2013 - u-Damian Lillard, Portland

2012 - Kyrie Irving, Cleveland

2011 - u-Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers

2010 - Tyreke Evans, Sacramento

2009 - Derrick Rose, Chicago

2008 - Kevin Durant, Seattle

2007 - Brandon Roy, Portland

2006 - Chris Paul, New Orleans

2005 - Emeka Okafor, Charlotte

2004 - LeBron James, Cleveland

2003 - Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix

2002 - Pau Gasol, Memphis

2001 - Mike Miller, Orlando

2000 - Elton Brand, Chicago, and Steve Francis, Houston

1999 - Vince Carter, Toronto

1998 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio

1997 - Allen Iverson, Philadelphia

1996 - Damon Stoudamire, Toronto

1995 - Grant Hill, Detroit, and Jason Kidd, Dallas

1994 - Chris Webber, Golden State

1993 - Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando

1992 - Larry Johnson, Charlotte

1991 - Derrick Coleman, New Jersey

1990 - u-David Robinson, San Antonio

1989 - Mitch Richmond, Golden State

1988 - Mark Jackson, New York

1987 - Chuck Person, Indiana

1986 - Patrick Ewing, New York

1985 - Michael Jordan, Chicago

1984 - u-Ralph Sampson, Houston

1983 - Terry Cummings, San Diego

1982 - Buck Williams, New Jersey

1981 - Darrell Griffith, Utah

1980 - Larry Bird, Boston

1979 - Phil Ford, Kansas City

1978 - Walter Davis, Phoenix

1977 - Adrian Dantley, Buffalo

1976 - Alvan Adams, Phoenix

1975 - Keith Wilkes, Golden State

1974 - Ernie DiGregorio, Buffalo

1973 - Bob McAdoo, Buffalo

1972 - Sidney Wicks, Portland

1971 - Dave Cowens, Boston, and Geoff Petrie, Portland

1970 - Lew Alcindor, Milwaukee

1969 - Wes Unseld, Baltimore

1968 - Earl Monroe, Baltimore

1967 - Dave Bing, Detroit

1966 - Rick Barry, San Francisco

1965 - Willis Reed, New York

1964 - Jerry Lucas, Cincinnati

1963 - Terry Dischinger, Chicago

1962 - Walt Bellamy, Chicago

1961 - Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati

1960 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia

1959 - Elgin Baylor, Minneapolis

1958 - Woody Sauldsberry, Philadelphia

1957 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston

1956 - Maurice Stokes, Rochester

1955 - Bob Pettit, Milwaukee

1954 - Ray Felix, Baltimore

1953 - Don Meineke, Fort Wayne


NBA Sixth Man Award Winners

2019 - Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers

2018 - Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers

2017 - Eric Gordon, Houston

2016 - Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers

2015 - Lou Williams, Toronto

2014 - Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers

2013 - J.R. Smith, New York

2012 - James Harden, Oklahoma City

2011 - Lamar Odom, L.A. Lakers

2010 - Jamal Crawford, Atlanta

2009 - Jason Terry, Dallas

2008 - Manu Ginobili, San Antonio

2007 - Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix

2006 - Mike Miller, Memphis

2005 - Ben Gordon, Chicago

2004 - Antawn Jamison, Dallas

2003 - Bobby Jackson, Sacramento

2002 - Corliss Williamson, Detroit

2001 - Aaron McKie, Philadelphia

2000 - Rodney Rogers, Phoenix

1999 - Darrell Armstrong, Orlando

1998 - Danny Manning, Phoenix

1997 - John Starks, New York

1996 - Toni Kukoc, Chicago

1995 - Anthony Mason, New York

1994 - Dell Curry, Charlotte

1993 - Clifford Robinson, Portland

1992 - Detlef Schrempf, Indiana

1991 - Detlef Schrempf, Indiana

1990 - Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee

1989 - Eddie Johnson, Phoenix

1988 - Roy Tarpley, Dallas

1987 - Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee

1986 - Bill Walton, Boston

1985 - Kevin McHale, Boston

1984 - Kevin McHale, Boston

1983 - Bobby Jones, Philadelphia


NBA Most Improved Player Winners

2019 - Pascal Siakam, Toronto

2018 - Victor Oladipo, Indiana

2017 - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee

2016 - CJ McCollum, Portland

2015 - Jimmy Butler, Chicago

2014 - Goran Dragic, Phoenix

2013 - Paul George, Indiana

2012 - Ryan Anderson, Orlando

2011 - Kevin Love, Minnesota

2010 - Aaron Brooks, Houston

2009 - Danny Granger, Indiana

2008 - Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando

2007 - Monta Ellis, Golden State

2006 - Boris Diaw, Phoenix

2005 - Bobby Simmons, L.A. Clippers

2004 - Zach Randolph, Portland

2003 - Gilbert Arenas, Golden State

2002 - Jermaine O'Neal, Indiana

2001 - Tracy McGrady, Orlando

2000 - Jalen Rose, Indiana

1999 - Darrell Armstrong, Orlando

1998 - Alan Henderson, Atlanta

1997 - Isaac Austin, Miami

1996 - Gheorghe Muresan, Washington

1995 - Dana Barros, Philadelphia

1994 - Don MacLean, Washington

1993 - Chris Jackson, Denver

1992 - Pervis Ellison, Washington

1991 - Scott Skiles, Orlando

1990 - Rony Seikaly, Miami

1989 - Kevin Johnson, Phoenix

1988 - Kevin Duckworth, Portland

1987 - Dale Ellis, Seattle

1986 - Alvin Robertson, San Antonio

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