Giannis Antetokounmpo is an NBA champion, and that means he has himself on track to being a Hall of Famer already. As a 2-time MVP, winning the NBA title and capturing Finals MVP has also placed him truly an elite company. In fact, he is only one of three players to ever win an MVP, Finals MVP, and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
One of those players is arguably the most skilled big man of all time, one of them is regarded as the greatest player to ever touch a basketball, and The Greek Freak joins them in this rare achievement. Looking back at the historic season set by Giannis, here is the breakdown of the elite company he finds himself in following the 2021 Finals success.
Giannis is without a doubt deserving of his 2 MVP Awards. He won MVP in 2019 by averaging 27.7 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 5.9 APG and guiding the Bucks to the best record in the NBA. The following season, Giannis won his second-straight MVP by averaging 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG while finishing with the best record again. That same year, Giannis won Defensive Player of the Year averaging 0.7 SPG and 0.9 BPG while dominating the paint and perimeter as the most versatile defender in the NBA.
This year, Giannis fell short in his race for a 3rd MVP but won the biggest prize by winning an NBA championship and also the Finals MVP. Giannis was spectacular in the Finals, averaging 35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, and 5.0 APG and guiding the Bucks to their first title since 1971. Antetokounmpo was the most dominant player in the postseason and has etched his name in NBA history after 2 superstars who earned this achievement before him.
The Houston Rockets legend is the most skilled big man in NBA history, using his footwork and soft touch around the rim to annihilate defenders. On defense, Hakeem had an incredibly high basketball IQ and was often in the paint to block shots or clean up misses. After all, he is regarded as a top-5 center to have ever played the game. Hakeem captured the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1993, averaging 4.2 BPG and 1.3 SPG while also winning his first NBA championship and Finals MVP.
“The Dream” then won the MVP Award in 1994, placing him in a special company as the second player to win MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP. He outdid himself by winning his second straight Defensive Player of the Year Award by averaging 27.3 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 3.7 BPG. With Hakeem on the roster, the Rockets finished 2nd in the West and once again, captured an NBA title and Finals MVP. Only one player completed the achievement of Finals MVP, MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year before Hakeem did it in 1994.
The greatest player of all time once again finds himself in rare company when it comes to accolades. Jordan won his first Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988, the same season he averaged 35.0 PPG and won the MVP. Jordan was the best offensive player in the NBA but also the best defender, averaging 2.9 SPG and 1.5 BPG in a historic season. Jordan was a 6-time NBA champion, but his first came in 1991 which was also the year he won his first Finals MVP as well.
That means in 1991, 3 years before Hakeem did it, Jordan became the first player to own a Defensive Player of the Year, MVP, and Finals MVP. To make sure no one ever surpasses him in achievements, Jordan would go on to win the MVP 4 more times and Finals MVP 5 more times. There will never be another MJ, and what he did on both ends of the floor will never be replicated. The fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo is mentioned with the GOAT in this special achievement is the highest possible compliment he could ever receive. We have to wait and see which player will have the physical and mental skills to complete this hat-trick of achievements similar to what Jordan, Olajuwon, and Giannis have achieved before anyone else.