NBA

Kobe sets MVP Giannis new challenge

By Sports Desk June 25, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo completed Kobe Bryant's first challenge by becoming the NBA's MVP on Monday - and now the former great has told him to win a title.

Antetokounmpo beat James Harden and Paul George to his first MVP award after an outstanding season in which he led the Milwaukee Bucks to the league's best regular season record.

The Greek had been challenged by Los Angeles Lakers icon Bryant to earn the individual honour on Twitter two years ago and the 40-year-old took to his social media account again to congratulate the MVP.

Quoting his post from 2017, Bryant wrote: "My man....M.V.P. Greatness. Next up: Championship. #MambaMentality"

Antetokounmpo was asked about Bryant's first challenge in his post-awards news conference.

"Definitely it was really motivating," he said. "Kobe saying that I can be the MVP of this league, that should be my goal, that definitely motivated me and wanted to make me a better player.

"I think my motivation came after my dad passed away and after the support system that I had with my family. But definitely Kobe, he's the one that started the flame, definitely."

The 24-year-old appears more than happy to take on Bryant's next task, too, having said in his acceptance speech: "My goal is to win a championship."

Expanding on his comments to the media, Antetokounmpo added: "Definitely the journey hasn't ended yet.

"There are a lot of goals that I have set for myself and for the team also, and I'm a guy that whenever I set goals I try to accomplish them, no matter what.

"At the end of the day, I'm going to stay hungry. I have the guys that support me on a daily basis and, as long as they're there for me, I'm going to stay hungry and chase my dreams.

"I'm always going to chase my goals because that's what my family wants me to do, and that's what people that know me want me to do."

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