Giannis Antetokounmpo's historic 50-point showing in the Milwaukee Bucks' series-clinching win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday rightfully earned him Finals MVP honors.
But one of Antetokounmpo's teammates, Khris Middleton, solidified himself as a bona fide star in the league. And Bucks president Peter Feigin believes that Middleton should no longer be labeled as a sidekick. He's graduated.
"Underrated no more. This guy has literally performed for six to eight years at such a high level," Feigin told The Zach Gelb Show on Wednesday. "He had done it unaccompanied for the first few years -- surrounded now with guys like Jrue [Holiday] and Giannis in a big way -- and has won tremendous games for us. This guy is like one of the most thoughtful, greatest, philanthropic folks you'll ever meet.
"He's just quiet, he cares about his family, cares about basketball. He doesn't pound his chest, so he doesn't get the recognition. And trust me, Khris and I hugged for the second time in six years last night, so I told him, 'We've got to be careful, let's do this slowly.' So, we slowly embraced and then we kind of got away, and said, 'Okay, let's promise we'll do it again if we win next year.'"
Middleton, a 2012 second-round pick, averaged 24.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists for the Bucks in the Finals. According to StatMuse, he scored 18 points on 75-percent shooting in the clutch in the Finals -- the most by any player -- and led the entire playoffs in clutch points.
Milwaukee, which won its second title in franchise history and first since 1971, also became just the fifth NBA team to overcome an 0-2 series deficit and win the Finals.
The entire Bucks conversation between Feigin and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.
You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.
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