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Giannis Antetokounmpo crowned KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year

The winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award was announced on Tuesday night as Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first Defensive Player of the Yer award in a landslide vote, taking 75 of the 100 first-place votes.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Bucks to the best defensive rating in the league.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Bucks to the best defensive rating in the league.

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award by a landslide margin, receiving 75 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters earning a total of 432 points. The 2018-19 NBA MVP, Antetokounmpo now becomes the fifth player to win both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in his career, joining Kevin Garnett, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan and David Robinson.

Power forward Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers was second (200 points, 14 first-place votes) and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (187, six) finished third.

He helped lead his team to a 102.9 defensive rating, which was the best record in the league. He averaged 2.0 combined steals and blocks across 30.9 minutes per game, before the NBA was shutdown in March.

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The 6’11 Greek forward also joins Sidney Moncrief as the only players to win the KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award with the Milwaukee Bucks. Moncrief played for Milwaukee winning in both the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons, the first two seasons that the award was presented.

“At the end of the day, when you go out there and compete and when you have guys behind you and next to you that compete as hard, awards like this can come,” Antetokounmpo said.

“At the end of the day, what I get from this is that you have to win. You have to do whatever it takes every day to go out there and put yourself in a position, put your team in a position to win, and good things are going to happen, and everything is gonna take care of itself.”

“The Greek Freak” finished the regular season with averages of 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

In addition to being named the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo is a finalist for the 2019-20 KIA NBA Most Valuable Award after averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists in games played before the season was halted, while helping Milwaukee post an NBA-best 53-12 record during that period. TNT will announce the winner in the coming days of the KIA NBA MVP Award during its coverage of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be aiming for a fairytale ending to the season by leading the Bucks to their 2nd NBA title and 1st since 1971. The Bucks are leading Orlando Magic 3-1 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in Orlando and will be looking to close out the series on Wednesday night.


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