With time running out in the NBA Finals, the stakes are high for the Milwaukee Bucks. If the Bucks can pull out an upset against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll be a major force in the Eastern Conference and one of the favorites to make a run at the title next season. And if they don’t? Well, Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to become the youngest ever to win the NBA Finals MVP award, and the first Greek-born player to do so.

The Milwaukee Bucks are currently the NBA’s highest scoring team, and they’re doing it with a unique recipe: a high number of players who can score from anywhere on the floor and play a variety of roles. That’s the formula that led to Giannis Antetokounmpo being named NBA Finals MVP over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

In the NBA Finals, the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo was, upon his return from a month-long absence due to a bone bruise on his left ankle, activated off of the bench, and played a mere six minutes through the first three games of the series. He was never asked to play 10+ minutes or even close to that, and he was not used in the final minutes of any game.. Read more about nba finals mvp list and let us know what you think.

Epic. Legendary. Unforgettable. Incredible.

As Wayne and Garth would say, we are unworthy.

After witnessing Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate the 2021 NBA Finals and give the Milwaukee Bucks their first title in 50 years, those phrases — and possibly a hundred more — will be eternally in fans’ vocabulary. With his thrashing of the Phoenix Suns, Antetokounmpo has cemented his place among the league’s all-time greats.

The tiny youngster from Greece already had two league MVPs and a Defensive Player of the Year Award coming into the finals. In his trophy cabinet, he also holds a Most Improved Player Award from the 2016-17 season, as well as the MVP of the 2021 All-Star Game. He may now add the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award to his Larry O’Brien trophy collection.

Is there any doubt, eight years into his career and at the young age of 26, that Antetokounmpo is deserving of a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame?

The NBA Finals MVP Award for Giannis Antetokounmpo places him in Hall of Fame company.

The list of players who have earned Finals MVP but are not in the Hall of Fame is small, according to Baksetball-Reference. Only Andre Iguodala (2014-15), Tony Parker (2006-07), and Chauncey Billups (2003-04) have yet to be voted in over the last 30 years.

Since 2010, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Andre Iguodala have been the finals MVPs. Antetokoumpo, like James, Leonard, Durant, and Nowitzki, was a strong contender for best player in the league the year they won their individual accolades.

Antetokounmpo’s performance in the NBA Finals puts him on par with the best players in NBA history.

Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates winning his first NBA Championship.

Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates winning his first NBA Championship. During the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2021 NBA Championship Victory Parade, Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates | Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Only Antetokoumpo and Michael Jordan have earned multiple regular-season MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year title, and a Finals MVP in NBA history. It’s one thing to be discussed in the same sentence as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and other Finals MVPs, but when a group comprises of two individuals, and one of them is Michael Jordan? That is how rarified air is defined.

Hakeem Olajuwon, who is also in the Hall of Fame, is the only other player to win a single regular-season MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year honor.

Antetokoumpo’s record of NBA Hall of Fame-worthy achievements is surely going to become longer.

The Greek Freak is just 26 years old and has already reached the pinnacle of his profession, both individually and as a member of his team, but he is constantly progressing.

His rebounding and scoring totals have increased. In his first season, he had 1.9 assists per game and 5.9 last season. His field goal percentage has risen from 41.4 percent in his first season to 57.8 percent this season.

Antetokounmpo has also developed physically during his career. According to Draft Express, he entered the league as a 6-foot-9, 196-pound adolescent. Last season, he was listed as 6-11, 242 pounds.

The phrase “the future is bright” is usually reserved for draft night. It strangely applies in this instance to an eight-year veteran who has already secured his place in the Hall of Fame.

Basketball-Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: NBA Finals History’s Biggest Blowouts

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  • nba finals mvp not in hall of fame
  • who is the finals mvp
  • giannis antetokounmpo strength training
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