How many times did I scoff at someone talking about Giannis as a legitimate MVP candidate this summer? Too many times. I'm a fool. This guy is nice. Like NICE, nice. He's every team's nightmare in and around the paint.
Last year's MVP race was eventually won by Russ which was much deserved but brought up a lot of questions. What makes a player deserving of the Most Valuable Player award? An offensive juggernaut? (Harden). A stat sheet filling energizer bunny? (Westbrook). Or just being the best player on the planet? (Lebron). Wins surely factor in but how much? If the bucks end up third, or maybe second in the east and Giannis performs as he has in the season's opening week he has to be at the top of that conversation. There are other superstars on other teams who will have a better record but in the era of the super team Antetokounmpo stands alone. Sure Durant's scoring is going to be pretty, Lebron will be Lebron and Westbrook will roll out of bed and cough up endless triple doubles but each of these stars has a notable supporting cast. Don't get me wrong, I like Middleton a lot and Brogdon was 2017's rookie of the year, sure, but they aren't Curry, Green, Klay, Melo, George or the Cavalier's. Giannis has an opportunity to carry a team, something that Westbrook did last year but didn't translate to playoff success. The bucks have a chance to make it to the conference finals in this weakened east, an accomplishment the league couldn't ignore. He's in a unique position that no player of his caliber is in. He's a Lone Star. It's hard not to root for the kid they call the Greek Freak.