The Milwaukee Bucks star forward , officially closing the book on what was a great season for the 24-year-old Greek Freak. Maybe even better than his numbers was the emotional, heartfelt speech he delivered upon accepting the honor at the NBA Awards.
Giannis took to the stage and thanked his late father, who passed away in 2017. It was an incredibly moving, humble and vulnerable moment from one of the game's most beloved and talented players.
And then, just moments after that speech, the Houston Rockets decided they needed to be sour. The team's official Twitter account hit send on a thread to "respectfully disagree" with Antetokounmpo's selection as Most Valuable Player.
Instead of conceding defeat and delivering a genuine congratulations to the Bucks star, the Rockets dropped a checklist of reasons why they felt James Harden should have been selected instead.
Congrats to the new MVP, but we respectfully disagree.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 25, 2019
📝 @JHarden13 ⤵️
✔️ Finished Top 2 in MVP voting 4 out of the last 5 seasons
✔ 1st player in NBA history to avg at least 35.0ppg & 7.0apg in a single season
✔ Scored 40+ pts 28 times this season, 50+ 9 times & 60+ twice pic.twitter.com/UMmHARlNxg
✔ 32 consecutive games scoring at least 30pts, 2nd-longest in league history.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 25, 2019
✔ Over a span of 40 games played Harden avg 40.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 7.0 rpg and 2.2 spg. That was the 2nd-longest span of averaging 40+ pts in NBA history!
✔ Surpassed his career high for 3-pointers made in his 53rd game of the season finishing with 378, 2nd-highest single season total in NBA history. 🚀— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 25, 2019
✔ Dating back to 2014-15, Harden is avg 30.4 pts, 8.4 ast, 6.4 reb, and 1.8 steals.
And while there's certainly a case to be made that Harden could have won the award on Monday night, there's also just as much of a case to be made that it went to the right guy. Either way, it comes across as petty and whiny to use the official team account to fire off a "respectfully disagree" tweet after your guy comes up on the wrong side of an award.
It seems even more ridiculous, at least optics-wise, to have all those things ready to go just in case your guy lost. This was clearly a well-researched and well-planned counterargument from the Rockets, meaning this was the game plan all along.
And it's even more ridiculous that the team's social media manager saw Giannis' speech, how much the moment meant to him and how much everyone else enjoyed it before STILL deciding it was a good idea to protest the result.
Luckily, the team got rightfully blasted by a good portion of NBA Twitter for their sour grapes.
The Rockets having a whole tweet thread ready to go auditing the reasons Harden was actually MVP the second it was announced is so on-brand.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 25, 2019
Sometimes you just have to take the L and log off.