Brogdon named Rookie of the year; Antetokoumnpo Most Improved in NBA

MILWAUKEE – Malcolm Brogdon was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced tonight at its inaugural NBA Awards show.

Brogdon joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) as the only players in team history to win Rookie of the Year. He is the first player not drafted in the first round to win Rookie of the Year since 1966.

“I am both humbled and honored to win this award,” said Brogdon. “As the oldest rookie to win this award in decades, I know it is the culmination of many special people who believed in me, starting with my mother, and continuing with my owners, my teammates, Coach Kidd and the entire Bucks’ staff. My five years at Virginia truly prepared me for the NBA and for life after the NBA. Thanks to Coach Bennett for a great education in basketball and for making me better. Thanks to the great fans of Milwaukee. Their work ethic truly inspires me every night.”

A second round pick (36th overall) from Virginia, Brogdon played in 75 games (28 starts) during a stellar rookie season that saw him lead all rookies in assists (4.2) and steals (1.1) per game, while ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage (.404) and free-throw percentage (.865). He also ranked third in field goal percentage (.457) and fourth in points per game (10.2) among rookies, and became one of just five rookies in NBA history to shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc while averaging at least four assists per game. Brogdon recorded the first rookie triple-double in team history when he scored 15 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds at Chicago on Dec. 31.

Brogdon started all six playoff games for the Bucks in 2017, and ranked first among rookies in the playoffs with 3.5 assists per game, and was second in points (9.0) and rebounds (4.3) per game.

“Malcolm worked tirelessly to improve his game and became a valuable contributor,” said Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd, who won co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill in 1995. “In fact, he was so reliable it was easy to forget that he was a rookie. Malcolm has a boundless future and we want to congratulate him on winning this well-earned award.”

Earlier today, Brogdon was unanimously selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, joining Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Willy Hernangomez (New York), Buddy Hield (Sacramento) and Dario Saric (Philadelphia). Brogdon is the 13th Buck to be named to an All-Rookie Team, and is the team’s first All-Rookie First Team selection since Brandon Jennings in 2009-10.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, the league announced tonight at the inaugural NBA Awards show. Antetokounmpo is the first player in Bucks history to be named Most Improved Player.

“I’m honored and humbled to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and grateful to so many people for helping me reach this point in my young career,” said Antetokounmpo. “Thank you to my family whose love and support means the world to me. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and staff with the Bucks who push me to succeed every day. Thank you to our fans who never stop cheering for us. Thank you.”

In his fourth season, Antetokounmpo set career highs in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), assists (5.4 apg), blocks (1.9 bpg) and steals (1.6 spg), as well as field goal percentage (.521). He became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for a season, and was the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-20 for total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Despite playing nearly the same number of minutes per game in 2016-17 (35.6) as he did in 2015-16 (35.3), Antetokounmpo increased his scoring average from 16.9 points per game, to 22.9 points per game this season.

Antetokounmpo earned his first All-Star appearance when he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 66th NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans in February. He was the Bucks’ first All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004 and the first All-Star starter since Sidney Moncrief in 1986. Antetokounmpo scored an Eastern Conference-high 30 points on 14-for-17 shooting.

“Giannis wants to be the best and this is a terrific achievement for him and for our organization,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. “No one puts in more work than Giannis and we’re thrilled for him to receive this honor.”

During the 2016-17 season, Antetokounmpo recorded three triple-doubles to give him eight for his career, which tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in team history. He was also one of just five players in the NBA this season to average over 20 points per game while shooting 50 percent or better. In May, Antetokounmpo was named Second Team All-NBA, the highest All-NBA Team selection for the Bucks since Moncrief in 1986.