In the last post-game interview of the 2021 NBA Finals, Giannis reflects on how he first asked Kobe for a challenge in 2017. After seeing the Black Mamba challenge Isaiah Thomas to make the All-NBA First Team, and Demar DeRozan to rekindle a lost friendship from his youth in Compton, Giannis tweeted “Still waiting for my challenge…” To the young buck’s surprise, Kobe responded to his request with “MVP.” “At first I was joking, I didn’t think that he would respond to me, but when he did, he made me believe. Kobe Bryant thinks I can do this… I had to do it. I had to work hard,” Giannis said. After being crowned MVP in 2019, Kobe gave him his next challenge, a Championship, which Giannis Antetokounmpo has now resoundingly completed.
According to StatMuse, Giannis is the first player in NBA history to record 30/10/5, and 50p/10r/5b in a Finals game. He’s also the first player to receive Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Finals Most Valuable Player award honors.
“Kobe Bryant thinks I can do this… I had to do it.”
Giannis on Kobe challenging him to win MVP back in 2017, and then to win an NBA Championship in 2019. pic.twitter.com/MVXbuuTIah
— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2021
Giannis passed both of Kobe’s tests ?
Challenge completed ✅ pic.twitter.com/mel90HNMnm
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo completed Kobe Bryant’s final challenge
He is an NBA Champion at long last pic.twitter.com/A8IcYtkHUl
— KBs GOAT (@KbsGoat) July 21, 2021
Giannis is the first player in NBA history to win:
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 21, 2021