NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo named regular season MVP

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ANKARA (AA) – Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA's 2018-19 regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP) during an awards show in California.

The awards show, hosted by NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal in Santa Monica on Monday night, was attended by NBA players, legends, TV personalities, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The honor made the 24-year-old superstar the first foreign-born player to be named MVP since Dirk Nowitzki in 2007, and the youngest MVP since Derrick Rose in 2011, the youngest in NBA history.

Antetokounmpo was named the MVP over his opponents, finalists James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In an emotional speech, Giannis paid tribute to his late father, who died in 2017 of a heart attack in Milwaukee.

"Two years ago, I had this goal in my head. That I am going to be the best player in the league," he said.

Giannis averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game in the regular season. Bucks failed to go the NBA Finals after being beaten by the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Here is the full list of award winners in the NBA's 2018-19 regular season:

Rookie of the Year

Winner: Luka Doncic, Mavericks

Other finalists: Deandre Ayton, Suns; Trae Young, Hawks

Coach of the Year

Winner: Mike Budenholzer, Bucks

Other finalists: Michael Malone, Nuggets; Doc Rivers, Clippers

Sixth Man Award

Winner: Lou Williams, Clippers

Other finalists: Montrezl Harrell, Clippers; Domantas Sabonis, Pacers

Defensive Player of the Year

Winner: Rudy Gobert, Jazz

Other finalists: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks; Paul George, Thunder

Most Improved Player

Winner: Pascal Siakam, Raptors

Other finalists: De'Aaron Fox, Kings; D'Angelo Russell, Nets

NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Winner: Bradley Beal, Wizards

Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award

Winner: Mike Conley, Grizzlies

Sportsmanship Award

Winner: Mike Conley, Grizzlies

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winners: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson

Sager Strong Award

Winner: Robin Roberts