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Giannis Antetokounmpo Discusses Winning 2021 NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant MVP Award

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the first half of basketball's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo added another accolade to his growing trophy cabinet, winning All-Star Game MVP in Team LeBron's 170-150 win over Team Durant.  

After the victory, Antetokounmpo commented on how the honor is more meaningful based on its namesake, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

"Having an award named after Kobe Bryant in my house is a great feeling," he told reporters. "... I know he would be happy."

The 26-year-old's triumph would've been unanimous were it not for the fan vote.

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

In case you’re wondering who the geniuses were that voted for Giannis ... https://t.co/UUQ3veiwXh

Antetokounmpo was a perfect 16-of-16 from the field for a game-high 35 points. He also filled up the stat sheet with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. The two-time reigning league MVP seemed to take it upon himself to be the top dog on the floor.

In the grand scheme of things, winning All-Star MVP isn't the most illustrious achievement of an NBA player's career. It's typically toward the bottom of any resume for one of the game's greats.

Having said that, a quick perusal of the list of past winners shows how almost all of the biggest names in NBA history have lifted the trophy at least once.

Bryant's four MVPs tied Bob Pettit for the all-time lead. LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and Shaquille O'Neal are all three-time winners. Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Bill Russell have each earned the distinction, as well.

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Antetokounmpo is certainly on a Hall of Fame trajectory, so it feels appropriate to see him now join that group.

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