The Greek Freak is the NBA MVP once again
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award. He became just the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
The award is well deserved for Antetokounmpo as he led the Bucks to a league-best 56 wins in the regular season. He averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. The more impressive part is that he did all of this while averaging 30.4 minutes per game.
One person who was not too fond of the voting results, however, was Lebron James. James finished second in the MVP voting, collecting just 16 first-place votes. He aired his displeasure with the results before game one of the Western Conference Finals, “Pissed me off, that’s my true answer. It pissed me off, because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything.”
There is certainly a case for James to be the most valuable player in the league, as there is every year. However, the MVP award is loosely defined, and it usually goes to the player who statistically had the best season. It doesn’t always go to the player who is the most valuable to their team.
James had a tremendous year for the Lakers, leading them to the best record in the Western Conference, along with leading the league in assists. He averaged 25.3 points, 10.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game. It was amazing to see what James could do as he made the transition to playing point guard full-time for the first time in his career, as opposed to playing more of a point forward role.
While most basketball fans know that James is the engine that keeps the Lakers running, there is one gaping hole in his frustration with not being recognized as the league MVP. Teammate Anthony Davis led the Lakers in points, rebounds, blocks and steals per game. So, you can see where some voters might have had a hard time justifying making James MVP when there is a case that he isn’t even the MVP of his own team.
This feels like James was taking some notes over quarantine while watching the Last Dance documentary. Michael Jordan was known to create narratives to fuel him and give him extra motivation. This is might be some fake outrage by James to keep himself motivated to win an NBA Championship during this unprecedented time. With no fans in the bubble, players need to find their own ways to create energy and this anger looks like it is going to be James’s strategy.