After leading the Bucks to their first NBA championship in 50 years, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put himself in a club with two of the all-time greats. Giannis is the third player in NBA history to win fInals MVP, the defensive player of the year, and the regular-season MVP award. The other two being Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Giannis dominated in his finals series against the Phoenix Suns. He averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 5 assists. He also became the seventh player in NBA history to score 50 points in a finals game after his virtuoso in game six to close out the suns.
Over the past few years, Giannis has established himself as a top player on offense and defense. Because of his dominance, he won back-to-back regular-season MVPs in 2019 and 2020. Also, in the 2020 season, he captured his first defensive player of the year award. He became the fifth player in history to win both MVP and DPOY. Giannis was additionally the third player to win both awards in the same year. The other two were, you guessed it, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Hakeem Olajuwon claimed this massive feat in one season. In the 1993-94 season, Hakeem won both the regular season MVP and DPOY. He then led his Rockets past Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks to win the NBA championship. Hakeem averaged 26.9 points in the series, 9 rebounds, and almost 4 blocks a game to secure finals MVP.
On the other hand, Michael Jordan completed two-thirds of the trifecta before winning his first finals MVP, much like Giannis. Jordan won MVP and DPOY in 1988 but didn’t win his first title until 1991. He then went on to win two more to complete the three-peat and win all three finals MVPs. He then had another three-peat from 1996-98 after taking a year and a half off to play baseball.
Though it may be unfair to compare Giannis Antetokounmpo’s legacy to Jordan or Hakeem at this point in his career, he still has a long way to go. At only 26 years old, Giannis is just entering his prime and has years to go before his cement drys. Only time will tell how much more he’ll accomplish, but looking at what he’s done so far, the future seems bright.