Giannis Antetokounmpo Equals Michael Jordan Record with Perfect All-Star Game Performance

Giannis Antetokounmpo joined an exclusive NBA club after being named NBA All-Star Game MVP on Sunday, as Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Milwaukee Bucks star shot a perfect 16-for-16 from the field, finishing with a game-high 35 points, seven rebounds and three assists. By scooping the MVP award, Antetokounmpo became only the third player in NBA history to win the MVP award in the regular season and All-Star Game as well as being named Defensive Player of The Year after Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett.

Antetokounmpo won his first MVP crown in 2019 and doubled up last year, when he also scooped the Defensive Player of The Year Award.

In 1988, Jordan won all three awards in the same year, as he captured the first of his five regular season MVP crowns and three All-Star Game MVP awards as well as his solitary Defensive Player of The Year accolade. Garnett, meanwhile, was named regular season MVP in 2004, a year after winning the All-Star Game MVP, and won his only Defensive Player of The Year Award in 2008.

Antetokounmpo acknowledged winning his first All-Star Game MVP title was particularly significant as the award is named after the late Kobe Bryant, whose life was tragically cut short by a helicopter crash in January last year.

"I'm extremely happy at just having the award with the name of Kobe Bryant in my house," he said.

"It's a great feeling. I wanted to win the one last year really bad and I had a chance to win because I felt like I wanted to have the trophy in my house, but this year I wasn't even thinking about winning it, I was just thinking about having fun, and I had the opportunity to play well.

"My team played great, and I was able to just win it and to have the trophy with the name of Kobe Bryant, it's amazing, and I know he would be happy. Yeah, I know he'd be happy."

According to Elias Sports Bureau, on Sunday night Antetokounmpo set a new record for the most shots made without a miss in an All-Star Game, shattering the previous benchmark set by Hal Greer in 1968 when he went 8-for-8 from the field. The Bucks star, however, insisted his perfect shooting performance was far from his mind throughout the game.

"It actually wasn't," he said. "I was just trying to just play. When you're around guys like [Damian Lillard] and [Stephen Curry] and Chris Paul, it's just easy. Nobody is worrying about me.

"I'm just playing one-on-one, nobody is double-teaming. If you feel good, then I feel good that it will be good. I just get up and have fun and just try to get as many shots as I can."

With 35 points on Sunday night, Antetokounmpo lifted his average in the All-Star Game to 28.8 points in five appearances, the highest of any player to have played at least five times in the NBA's annual extravaganza.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James are second and third respectively with an average of 25 and 22.9 points respectively, while Russell Westbrook is fourth with an average of 21.8 points per All-Star Game appearance.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of Team James is presented the MVP award after his team defeated Team Durant in the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena on March 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images